The number is about performers and performing — which is also one of the themes of the whole opera. Canio is an older man who leads a travelling troupe of players. His young wife Nedda is one of the actors, and she is in love with someone in the village the troupe is visiting. At the end of the first act he is left alone to get ready to take to the stage. As a man, he is heartbroken.
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The number is about performers and performing — which is also one of the themes of the whole opera. Canio is an older man who leads a travelling troupe of players. His young wife Nedda is one of the actors, and she is in love with someone in the village the troupe is visiting. At the end of the first act he is left alone to get ready to take to the stage. As a man, he is heartbroken. As a character in the play, he must laugh and play the fool. It is all the harder as his character in the play is a man whose wife is cheating on him.
Conveniently, the aria is just the right length to fit on one side of an early 78 r. Other characteristics of the musical style help too: the orchestration is mainly low and undulating, rising and falling in waves with the emotions of the singer, rather than aggressive, sudden and cutting through them. This all means that the focus is clearly on the voice. A man? Or a clown? Then the melancholy aria melody begins. Canio becomes increasingly preoccupied with his situation.
With irony, he is telling himself that as the clown he must laugh for the crowd. In the introduction Canio breaks down with cries notated in words, but given no pitched notes. This overt display of emotion in performance style is characteristic of this type of verismo Italian opera.
The intention is to portray raw emotions, strongly drawn as part of a depiction of harsh reality. I am not Pagliaccio. The audience for the play applaud what they think is brilliant acting.
They even watch Pagliaccio acting out the murder of Columbina — when it really is Canio killing Nedda right in front of them. But at the end of the second act, real life tragically wins out.
Vesti La Giubba Lyrics
Music Expert B. Green is an expert on classical music and music history, with more than 10 years of both solo and ensemble performance experience. Despite the aloof and foolish characters he portrays in his acting troupe, Canio is a very serious person and highly protective of his wife. After one of their performances, Canio and a few other cast members go out to drink in celebration. Canio becomes furious and rebukes them on the spot.
Leoncavallo - Vesti la giubba from Pagliacci sheet music for Tenor Voice