2011-12-17 Pagliacci (Leoncavallo), The Royal Danish Theatre (Copenhagen)

Canio = José Cura
Nedda = Sine Bundgaard
Tonio = Fredrik Zetterström
Beppe = Michael Kristensen
Silvio = Palle Knudsen

Stefano Ranzani, Conductor
Director - Paul Curran
Set design - Mia Stensgaard
Costume design - Anja Vang Kragh
Light design - Bruno Poet

This page was last updated: June 20, 2022
I also enjoyed Pagliacci. Yes. José Cura was Canio in this production by director Paul Curran with set designs by Mia Stensgaard and costumes by Anja Vang Kragh. There was so much to enjoy in this production but then there was the bafflements. The Church and the church step with the Virgen Mary statue from Cavalleria Rusticana was now bombed and American flags was everywhere. A depressed Italy? after a the war with nurses, wounded soldats (American?) is present but what are they doing to this Pagliacci production? It is just a blackdrop and it is not utilized in any way that I could see. The cast was wonderful with José Cura being the best Canio ever, Sine Bundgaard was a magnificent Nedda, and Michael Kristensen as Beppe and Palle Knudsen as Silvio was two additional beautiful voices. The prologue with Tonio, Fredrik Zetterström was met with a thunderous applause. The poor guy was so close to losing his voice several times during the prologue, but he was so good an actor one could forget almost everything.

When the prologue started we are looking at a stage curtain of the church and churh steps with the Maria statue and Silvio is painting on it. Then they come on the stage, Beppe, Tonio, Canio and Nedda. They are carrying their stuff. Here we see what a life Nedda is suffering. Always asked to carry more than the rest of the guys. Not respected by Canio or really anyone. She is on the bottom in this troupe.  It is not Tonio who is last and least important, but Nedda. (But without her who would come to see them.) For the first time I could really feel for Nedda and the duet between her and Silvio made even more on Nedda's side. And then there is her voice.... magic. A great Vesti la giubba by Cura, his whole performance was simply gold. In the end Canio kills Nedda by slicing her throat or something, but it is opera so she could still say SILVIO. Then Silvio is killed by the same method. In the end LA COMMEDIA E FINITA, and Canio kills himself too. 3 deaths, and almost an Otello ending.