"Pagliacci" by Ruggero Leoncavallo – Daniel Harding Teatro alla Scala
The eighth chapter of the multimedia Vox Imago project is dedicated to Ruggero Leoncavallo's masterpiece Pagliacci, performed in February 2011 at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, with Daniel Harding as music conductor and Mario Martone as stage director.
A scene of the opera
First performed on 21st May 1892 at the Dal Verme Theatre in Milan under the baton of Arturo Toscanini, Pagliacci is one of the most popular operas in the repertoire.
A perfect expression of the artistic orientation of its time the opera is both considered the manifesto for musical realism, and, through the staging of the play and the commedia dell’arte, anticipates early twentieth century composers such as Stravinsky, Malipiero and Busoni. The work centres on the problems faced by the lower classes, the difference between human nature and acting, between player and character. In fact, Leoncavallo stages the same event twice, first as “real life”, and the second time as a play within the play. Thus the characters play a double role, that in the opera and that in the commedia dell’arte performed in the second act. The two worlds inevitably collide, creating the final drama. The work is not only an extraordinary snapshot of the artistic climate of its time, but also a masterpiece that works wonderfully on the stage and has been seducing audiences around the world for almost 120 years.
The editorial-multimedia project is issued in two versions:
the institutional box set – including the book, a DVD with English and French subtitles and detailed information in its contents, and two downloadable CDs in mp3 format;
the digipack – small, elegant and slender box set containing the DVD and a CD.