Pagliacci is a famously tragic play-within-a-play that tells the heartbreaking story of betrayal and jealousy in an Italian commedia dell’arte troupe. Theater and reality collide in a dramatic climax of operatic proportions when Canio discovers his wife has eyes for another actor. “Laugh, clown, at your broken love!” he exclaims in one of opera’s most legendary tenor arias.
The Austin Lyric Opera has been presenting an English version of Act II from the powerful work with The Pagliacci Project, bringing it to the streets of Austin. What's more, the performances are completely free to the public, and have appeared at popular venues such as clubs, shopping malls and outdoor street festivals. This weekend marks the final performance, so it's time to see it for yourself.
The company's main stage performances of Pagliacci start in November at The Long Center.
This exciting new collaboration with the Butler Opera Center at the University of Texas presents a modern retelling of Leoncavallo’s renowned opera.
Sung in English, with updated sets and costumes, The Pagliacci Project strives to make a lasting connection within the community and is a wonderful way to experience live opera in a unique setting, furthering the ALO commitment to empowering young people with innovative programs that expose students to the joys of classical music and live performance.
This weekend's final performance will be held at Twin Liquors Hancock Center on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 2:30 p.m.
“This is a wonderful chance for us to give back to the community and share opera with a broad audience — in places they would least expect — at no cost. For many, it will be their first experience with the art form.” says ALO General Director, Joseph Specter.
“We are thrilled to be able to collaborate with the Butler Opera Center and its talented young singers in such an innovative way as we build toward opening night of our main stage production of Pagliacci this fall.”
Offering these performances for free is part of the Opera by Night program, which offers over 5,000 free tickets to students, parents and teachers to attend ALO dress rehearsals. Prior to each Opera by Night performance, ALO distributes educational packets to teachers at participating schools, helping familiarize students with the opera and have a more meaningful and enjoyable experience.
The Pagliacci Project further establishes the Butler Opera Center and Austin Lyric Opera as significant resources of this vibrant art form in Central Texas. These performances also help the company get ready for its main stage performances of Pagliacci, starting in November at The Long Center.
Seats for the final performance can be reserved online.