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Masterpieces of Russian romance


opera in two acts with a prologue
music by Ruggero Leoncavallo

03 November, Fri


  • Musical Director and Conductor - Valentin Uryupin
  • Director - Irkin Gabitov
  • Set Designer - Vyacheslav Okunev
  • Lighting Designer - Alexander Kibitkin
  • Choreographer - Gali Abaidulov
  • Choir master - Vyacheslav Podelsky

1 hour 50 minutes

one intermission

performed in Italian (with Russian surtitles)

Premiered on April 13, 2017

Ruggero Leoncavallo created the Pagliacci opera, being inspired by the ideas of "verism", which consist of ruthlessly accurate reflection of the reality, portrayal of a realistic, imperfect man with all his passions and malice. For that reason, a real case of crime of passion lies at the root of the plot. Leoncavallo's music gains its tremendous power interpreting the human love, jealousy, betrayal and suffering. The director of the play Irkin Gabitov proposes to present the performance in keeping with the best traditions of the classical theatre, considering the ways of italian neorealism.


The author comes back to the places, where some tragic events took place having him deeply thrilled, and recollects the memories of vagrant comedians. Here are the characters of his tragic story: Canio is the head of the troupe, Nedda is his wife, Tonio and Beppe are the actors.


Small Italian town. The crowd is cheering the commedia troupe. Canio, head of the troupe, promises to show the incredible performance.

The locals invite Canio to the tavern, he follows them. Left alone, his wife is dreaming about young peasant Silvio, the man she loves. Tonio comes and confesses he's in love with her. She rejects him with a scornful laugh, stinging with a whip. Full with impotent rage Tonio walks away, promising terrible vengeance. Meanhile, Silvio comes to see Nedda, disregard the danger. He begs her to leave the nomad life and run away with him. Suddenly, we hear the angry voice of Canio, who was called by the offended comedian Tonio. Silvio manages to escape unidentified. Canio has no luck demanding the name of his wife's lover. He is threatening her with a knife, Beppo is holding him back.

Deep in grief, Canio thinks about the upcoming fun performance. The audience has nothing to do with the clown's feelings. He has to hide his sorrow to make people laugh, to please the audience. "Laugh, Clown, laugh over broken love!" - cries Canio.


Evening time. The comedians are getting ready for the performance: Tonio is drumming up the people, and Beppo is inviting them to the seats. The performance begins.

The plot of the play is close to the real life events. Taddeo (Tony) loves Colombina (Nedda), who prefers Arlecchino (Beppo). Their rendez-vous is interrupted by The Clown (Canio). Colombina's last words to Arlecchino are the exact same words, he heard her telling to her lover in the morning. He is feeling a new burst of jealousy again, and full of rage, he stabs Nedda with a knife and then stabs Silvio, who throws himself to the stage as he hears his love's death cry. La commedia è finita("The comedy is over") - announces Tonio.

Valentin Uryupin: A conductor must inspire the whole juggernaut of an opera performance
Watch an interview of the Pagliacci musical director Valentin Uryupin, given to the Russia-24 TV channel.
April 12, 2017