I Pagliacci

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I Pagliacci is an Italian opera in a prologue and two acts, with music and libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo ()[].

Known in English simply as Pagliacci.

The original text

The opera premiered at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan on 21 May 1892, conducted by Arturo Toscanini, and was done in London in 1893, soon after the Italian premiere, with Nellie Melba playing "Nedda". Opened in New York on 15 June 1893.

Over the years it has frequently been staged as a double bill with Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1893-4: Performed as I Pagliacci by the Lyric Opera Company on tour in South Africa, including performances in the Opera House, Cape Town, during October, under the management of Edgar Perkins and Arturo Bonamici, in this case done as a double bill with Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni), with a company that included Leonora Braham and Marguerite Macintyre.


D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1932. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.400, 407, 422

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