OPERA San Antonio opens its 2022-2023 season with famous tragic opera Pagliacci

The production is directed by OSA Artistic Advisor Garnett Bruce, with music direction by Francesco Milioto.

click to enlarge Jonathan Burton stars as Canio in OSA's production of Pagliacci. - Courtesy Photo / OPERA San Antonio
Courtesy Photo / OPERA San Antonio
Jonathan Burton stars as Canio in OSA's production of Pagliacci.
"But doctor, I am Pagliacci!" — or so the punchline goes.

Though the "depressed clown" joke predates Ruggero Leoncavallo's 1892 opera, after Pagliacci entered the zeitgeist as "that story with the sad clowns," the joke eventually came to use its title.

In the opera, Canio, the leader of a traveling troupe of actors, suspects his wife Nedda of infidelity. Though she spurns the advances of the amorous Tonio, Nedda does indeed have a lover — Silvio.

And, as it just so happens, the commedia troupe's current production stars Canio as Pagliaccio, a character who suspects his wife Colombina — played by Nedda — of infidelity. Sound familiar?

During the troupe's performance, fiction and truth bleed together, and Canio as Pagliaccio is overcome by jealousy, culminating in an onstage tragedy.

OPERA San Antonio opens its 2022-2023 season with the famous two-act opera, directed by OSA Artistic Advisor Garnett Bruce, with music direction by Francesco Milioto. The production stars Jonathan Burton as Canio, Sara Gartland as Nedda, Ricardo Jose Rivera as Silvio and Gordon Hawkins as Tonio.

"This short opera really packs a big punch," Milioto said in a statement. "The audience immediately gets pulled into the drama as if they are part of the crowd watching on stage."

Pagliacci will be performed in Italian with English translations, and each performance will feature a pre-show educational lecture.

$40-$195, 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle, (210) 223-8624, tobincenter.org.

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