The eighth chapter of the multimedia Vox Imago project is dedicated to Ruggero Leoncavallo’s masterpiece Pagliacci.
Elvio Annese and Roberto San Pietro’s visual journey once again uses Philip Gossett’s presentation of the work, which he gives seated at the composer’s original piano, which is conserved in the Leoncavallo Museum in Brissago. Contributions from conductor Daniel Harding and director Mario Martone further frame the work and the artistic choices made in the preparation of La Scala’s production. Footage shot in Montalto Uffugo, the town where Leoncavallo lived and where the work is set, and documents from the Fondo Leoncavallo in Locarno contribute to an exploration of the context in which Pagliacci originated and its author worked.
This helps to emphasize the idea of breaking down barriers, a message that Leoncavallo delivered through a meta-theatrical dramaturgy, fully embraced by the La Scala staging, where the audience becomes an extension of the stage.
Daniel Harding A rollercoaster ride of an Opera
Philip Gossett Pagliacci by Leoncavallo: listening guide
Michele Girardi Ruggero Leoncavallo: a composer with a passion for culture
Claudio Toscani Duelling publishers
Livio Aragona Music and the mask in the Twentieth Century Europe
Federico Fornoni «A nest of memories»? The origins of Pagliacci
Francesco Braghetta The correspondence of Ruggero Leoncavallo
Mario Marcarini Pagliacci conquering the recording market
Catulle Mendès Tabarin's wife
Pagliacci Synopsis and Libretto
Photos: Marco Brescia & Rudy Amisano © Teatro alla Scala