Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci

I have always been fascinated by the beautiful aria, 'Vesti La Giubba' from this opera since the last thirty five years. But today, I heard the complete opera for the first time on the DVD video of Deutsche Grammophon Gessellschaft. It is a combination coupling disc with Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana. The singing is superb from Placido Domingo and Teresa Stratas with the Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Alla Scala, Milan under Georges Pretre. This is a 1981 Unitel performance. Superb. The opera has been filmed by none other than Franco Zeffirelli who made masterpieces like 'Jesus of Nazareth' and 'Romeo and Juliet'. He filmed the opera in an empty theatre creating a vision that maintains the sense of a stage seen from an auditorium.
If you are hearing an opera for the first time and you like a tragedy with a love triangle, then this is a perfect opera for you and a very good performance too on this disc. This is an opera consisting of a prologue and two acts written by Ruggero Leoncavallo. This opera remains one of the most popular works in the operatic repertoire.