This was a double bill at Cincinnati Opera.? It was on my list, because I had never seen either one before.? I usually get season tickets, but had already seen a wonderful performance of Porgy and Bess (not as the opera) several years ago, and was unwilling to sit through Traviata again.? So my son Brian and I saw attended on the first night of this season, June 14.
I knew Pagliacci was a tragedy, with the sad clown.? I didn’t realize that Pagliacci would turn out to be a double murderer, in a domestic violence case.? The music is wonderful, the set is fun and ingeneous, the costumes, the bus are all great.? But I ended up arguing with Nedda, the wife and her lover, Silvio.? Don’t be so obvious, wait until you’ve run away.? And when Nedda, knowing Canio (Pagliacci) was really going to kill her, called out to Silvio, he waited just a bit too long – and when he finally made his move, he was stabbed as well.? Eeeek!?? And then, of course, Canio goes to pieces.? Don’t those crazed husbands always do that?? When are they going to stay calm and avoid their own madness?
Mostly I love the over-the-topness of opera.? Not so much with Pagliacci, though it is great, and great music.
Then there was a very funny opera, Gianni Schicchi.? It starts with a dead man, who has left his money to a monastery, much to the dismay of a roomful of relatives.? There’s also a couple, who want to marry, but objections are raised by his family.? There is much dashing and scurrying and getting in one anothers’ way.? Gianni Schicchi, the girl’s father, saves the day, the money – and then takes a good part of it for himself and his future son-in-law.? A fun story, and well set up, with doors everywhere.
So the evening balanced out.? And it was yet another great production by Cincinnati Opera.? Can’t wait til next year!