Pagliacci on Ashgabat Stage: An Array of Talents, a Wealth of Impressions

A production of Ruggero Leoncavallo’s opera Pagliacci (The Traveling Players’) premiered at the Magtymguly Turkmen Music and Drama Theater has been a great success. Among those, who came to listen to the opera, were participants of the Third International Theater Festival.

...The opera opens with the famous Prologue.As the curtain goes up, the stage set recreates a small Italian village, where a troupe of traveling comedians has noisily arrived in a cart.

A group of villagers heartily welcomes the strolling actors.Canio, the leader of the troupe, invites everyone to attend their show that evening.Clown Tonio steps forward to help Canio’s wife Nedda out of the cart; however Canio jealously pushes him aside.

Nedda in a beautiful red dress with a flower in her hair is left alone. Seizing his chance, Tonio tries to confess his love for her, but she laughs at him at first, and then strikes him with a whip. Tonio swears revenge on her for the insult.

Nedda’s sweetheart, Silvio, lives in the village. Jealous Canio suspects his wife’s infidelity. He has heard her agree to see someone and demands that Nedda reveal the identity of her lover. Beppo, a member of the troupe, interrupts their heated quarrel and reminds them that they must get ready for the show.

Before act two begins, the orchestral Intermezzo is played and the villagers gather to take their makeshift seats before the play.

In the show, Columbine (played by Nedda) is dining with her lover Harlequin (Beppo), when her husband Pagliaccio (Canio) returns unexpectedly. Harlequin escapes jumping out of the window...

The play mirrors exactly the same story that takes place in Canio’s real life.This drives him crazy, making him unable to play his part.Canio tears off his costume and exclaims: “No!

I am not Pagliaccio”.Nedda and Tonio try to continue with the performance, although they understand that Canio is out of his mind.At this time, Tonio slips the knife into the hand of Canio, who is filled with rage, to take revenge on Nedda for treating him with contempt.

Canio murders his wife.Silvio, who is among the spectators, rashes to the stage but is also stabbed by Canio...

Canio turns to the audience and slowly cries out: “The comedy is over”.

As the opera came to a close with the final musical phrases, the auditorium resounded with cheers and thunderous applause.The actors, musicians and choir members took the stage to receive flowers and applause from the appreciative audience.

The listeners expressed their deep appreciation to the production director Daniele de Plano and tenor Francesco Anile, who had sung the role of Canio, caught in the heart-rending love quadrangle.

Addressing the audience, Daniele de Plano said that he was grateful to the State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Rasul Klychev for their professionalism and the virtuoso performance of one of the most popular operas. The concertmaster Stella Faramazova received special thanks.

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