Clown Opera

Posted : admin On 1/26/2022

Looking for a great gift idea for the holidays?
Check out our complete Seinfeld Gift Guide right now! Including T-Shirts, DVDs, and more!

  1. Crying Clown Opera
  2. Clown Opera Pagliacci

Venetian Masquerade Mask Phantom of The Opera Halloween Clown Mask Party Event Show Ball Supplies Decoration. 4.2 out of 5 stars 20. Coddsmz Masquerade Mask Steampunk Phantom of The Opera Mechanical Venetian Party Mask. As with opera, sound is just as important as silence. This month, TDO Network presents their newest series, The Clown. Based on the Leoncavallo’s famous opera Pagliacci, Those Girls reimagined the opera as a silent movie inspired by the beloved actor, Charlie Chaplin.Tune in each week and catch all of your favorite verismo opera characters in this comedic tragedy. Updated January 16, 2019 In the finale of the first act of Ruggiero Leoncavallo's unforgettable two-act opera, Pagliacci, Canio, a clown, and leader of a traveling group of performers, has just found out his wife is having an affair. Mar 18, 2012 - Pagliacci - the Greatest clown opera -of all time! This really brought the house DOWN -in Milan. Then there’s the 1892 Italian opera, Pagliacci (Clowns), in which the cuckolded main character, an actor of the Grimaldian clown mold, murders his cheating wife on stage during a performance.

Pagliacci

[Transcribed by William Fifield]


First aired November 4, 1992
Writer Larry Charles
Director Tom Cherones
Jerry Seinfeld Jerry Seinfeld
Elaine Benes Julie Louis Dreyfus
George Costanza Jason Alexander
Cosmo Kramer Michael Richards
Joe Divola Peter Crombie
Susan Ross Heidi Swedberg
Man #1 Tom Celli
Man #2 Jason Wingreen
Man #3 Glen Chin ('Harry Fong')
Mr Reichman Ross Evans
Mrs Reichman Harriet S. Miller
Usher Bill Saluga
COMEDY CLUB
The idea behind the tuxedo is the woman's point of view that men are all the
same, so we might as well dress them that way. That's why a wedding is like
the joining together of a beautiful glowing bride, and some guy. The tuxedo
is a wedding safety device created by women because they know that men are
undependable. So in case the groom chickens out, everybody just takes one
step over and she marries the next guy. Thats why the wedding vow isn't 'do
you take Bill Simpson', its 'do you take this man'.
INSIDE JOE DIVOLA'S APARTMENT
Jerry: (answering machine) leave a message and Ill call you back, thanks.
JOE DIVOLA: Jerry, Joe Divola. *Pbt* *Pbt* *Pbt* I have a hair on my
tongue, I can't get it off, you know how much I hate that? Course you do,
you put it there. I know what you said about me Seinfeld. I know you
badmouthed me to the execs at NBC, put the kibosh on my deal. Now Im gonna
put the kibosh on you. You know Ive kiboshed before, and I will kibosh
again.
JERRY'S APARTMENT.
JERRY ENTERS
KRAMER ENTERS
KRAMER: So, what do you think?
JERRY: About what?
KRAMER: About the opera.
JERRY: Nah, I don't wanna go.
KRAMER: You gotta go.
JERRY: I-I-I don't like the opera. What are they singing for? Who sings?
You got something to say, say it!
KRAMER: Jerry, you don't understand, thats the way they talk in Italy,
they sing to one another. Kramer starts to sing in bad Italian.
JERRY: All right, all right.
KRAMER: Thats the way it was, you know. You listen to the language, its
got that sing songy quality. Its the language Jerry, the language
JERRY: So why don't they talk like that now?
KRAMER: Well its, uh, well its too hard to keep up, you know, they were
tired.
BUZZER
KRAMER: Better get that
JERRY: Yeah?
ELAINE: (intercom) its me!
JERRY: Come on up.
KRAMER: So, huh?
JERRY: I don't know
KRAMER: Oh come on Jerry, its opening night, black tie, Pagliacci! The
great clown, the great sad tragic clown, like you.
JERRY: Well its very flattering. How did you get these tickets, I heard
they're impossible to get.
KRAMER: Oh, well I have many associates.
JERRY: I don't know, opera, its not my kind of thing.
KRAMER: All right, you not gonna go Im not gonna go, Im gonna call the
whole thing off.
JERRY: No, wait a minute, wait a minute, thats not fair, what about
George, Susan and Elaine, what do you need me for?
KRAMER: You're the nucleus, the straw that stirs the drink. You're the
Miana!
JERRY: Well I guess if Im the Miana I should go. All right, all right.
ELAINE ENTERS
ELAINE: Hi!
JERRY: Hi!
KRAMER: Hey! Hi Elaine!
ELAINE: You got the tickets right?
KRAMER: Well no, I don't have them on me.
ELAINE: What? Thats why I came all the way over here.
KRAMER: My friends got 'em, Im going to pick them up tomorrow.
ELAINE: Oh, I was gonna surprise Joey with them, you got an extra one
right?
KRAMER: Oh yeah!
JERRY: So I finally get to meet your pal Joey.
ELAINE: Its killing you isnt it?
JERRY: Yeah, so Joeys a great lover of the opera
ELAINE: Listen, I got news for ya, its nice to be involved with somebody
whos interested in something other than nick at night. Now hes got a grip
on reality, he's happy, he's well adjusted.
JOE DIVOLA'S APARTMENT
Opera music playing (Paliachi?)
Divola is crying while lifting weights. Photos of Elaine are scattered on
the floor.
JERRY'S APARTMENT
JERRY: Well Im looking forward to meeting him.
ELAINE: I've got to go
JERRY: Where are you going, whats the rush?
ELAINE: I'm going to surprise Joey, Ive never been to his apartment so Im
just going to 'pop in'
JERRY: Oh, good, men love that!
Kramer is reading Jerry's mail under the lamp.
JERRY: Hey!
KRAMER: You've got a message buddy.
JERRY: Ooo, could be from that blonde
KRAMER: Oo yiggity diggigg
JOE DIVOLA:(answering machine message)'Jerry, Joe Divola. I have a hair on
my tongue'
JOE DIVOLA'S APARTMENT
DIVOLA HAS HIS HAND OVER A CANDLE AND IS LAUGHING
JERRY'S APARTMENT
JERRY: (shouting) Kramer what am I going to do did you hear that that guy's
gonna put a kibosh on me he's crazy he's out of his mind....
KRAMER: Steady, steady, now calm yourself, come on, now get a hold of
yourself,
JERRY: What the hell he's supposed to be on medication I don't understand
he told me he's getting medication what happened to his medication!?
KRAMER: OK Quiet! Quiet! Now let me think!
JERRY: I'm gonna call the cops. Thats what Im doing, Im calling the
cops.
KRAMER: The cops? What are you calling the cops for? Theyre not going to
do anything!
JERRY: What do you mean they're not going to do anything, they're the cops,
they gotta do something, he just put the kibosh on me, do you know what the
kibosh means, its a kibosh!
KRAMER: Yiddigtkk ka kibosh.
JERRY: I mean it's a terrible mistake, I mean he thinks I ruined some deal
of his at NBC, I don't know anything about any deal at NBC.
KRAMER: Call him and tell him
JERRY: Thats what Ill do, Ill just call him and tell him, Ill tell him.
Thats all Ill do. He's a human being, Ill talk to him. He'll understand.
Right?
KRAMER: Right.... Don't mention my name
JERRY: Oh, I got the machine.
KRAMER: Whats his message like?
JERRY: Nice!
KRAMER: Eh!
JERRY: (into phone) Hello Joe, listen this is Jerry Seinfeld, I really think
theres been a huge colossal misunderstanding,
KRAMER: Big! Big!
JERRY: and I feel if we can just talk about this we can straighten the
whole thing out, so listen, so call me back. Bye.
JOE DIVOLA'S APARTMENT
The door is open. Elaine knocks and then enters.
ELAINE: Joey? Joey?
She sees a wall covered in photos of her.
Joe Divola enters and shuts the front door.
ELAINE: Oh god, oh, its you! You scared me!
JOE DIVOLA: Good. Fear is our most primal emotion.
ELAINE: You left your door open.
JOE DIVOLA: I know, I like to encourage intruders.
ELAINE: (laughs) Whats all this?
JOE DIVOLA: Do you like it? My home is a shrine to you.
ELAINE: Where did you get all these pictures?
JOE DIVOLA: I took them myself with a telephoto lens. Coming out of your
office, your apartment, shopping, showering.
ELAINE: Showering?
JOE DIVOLA: I developed them myself in my dark room. Would you like to see?
ELAINE: In the dark room? Uh no, no thank you. Not right now. I'm a day
person!... Are you all right?
JOE DIVOLA: Why
ELAINE: Well I don't know, you just don't seem yourself?
JOE DIVOLA: Who am I? Who am I supposed to be?
ELAINE: Thats a good question, good question, its very... exerstential!
Who are you? Who am I? Yeah, well.
JOE DIVOLA: What are you doing here?
ELAINE: Oh, nothing, I just stopped by to chat, you know, shoot the breeze.
JOE DIVOLA: Were you able to get those opera tickets to Pagliacci from that
friend of yours? I'm really looking forward to it.
ELAINE: Oh, no, he couldn't get them. We're not going.
JOE DIVOLA: Really?
ELAINE: Oh, dammit, you know I just remembered I gotta go, I left something
on, the gas, the lights, the water in the tub. Something is on somewhere so
Im just gonna get the uh..
Divola is blocking the door with his head.
JOE DIVOLA: You know the story of Pagliacci, Nedda?
ELAINE: Uh.. Im Elaine!
JOE DIVOLA: He's a clown whose wife is unfaithful to him.
ELAINE: Oh.
JOE DIVOLA: Do you think Im a clown, Nedda?
ELAINE: Do I think you're a clown? No, not if its bad to be a clown, if
its bad to be a clown then you are definitely not a clown. But if its good
to be a clown then, you know, I would have to rethink the whole thing.
JOE DIVOLA: You've betrayed me with another, haven't you, Nedda? Who is he.
I want you to tell me who he is. I want his name. Tell me his name.
ELAINE: Oh, like any man would ever look at me, come on, Im gonna... get
out of here.
Divola blocks the door when Elaine tries to leave.
JOE DIVOLA: Pagliacci kills his wife.
ELAINE: Se, now thats terrible, that is not a nice thing to do at all, I
dont know how this Paliachi thing turns out but you know I would assume
that there is big big trouble for that clown
JOE DIVOLA: You're not leaving
Elaine sprays Divola in the eyes and he falls on his back. Elaine leaves.
JERRY'S APARTMENT.
Jerry:(on phone) But officer, he threatened me! I don't understand, thats
not right! What if it was the President of the United States I bet you'd
investigate. So whats the difference, Im a comedian of the United States,
and Ill tell you Im under just as much pressure. Alright, thanks anyway,
ok bye.
Knock at door.
JERRY: (cautiously) Who is it?
GEORGE: It's George.
George enters wearing a very small tuxedo.
GEORGE: What, are you locking the door now?
JERRY: Well, well, look at you. Its a little skimpy there isn't it?
GEORGE: Do you know the last time I wore this thing? Six years ago, when I
made that toast at Bobby Leighton's wedding.
JERRY: Ooo, that was a bad toast.
GEORGE: It wasn't that bad.
JERRY: I never heard anybody curse in a toast.
GEORGE: I was trying to loosen 'em up a little bit.
JERRY: There were old people there, all the relatives. You were like a Red
Fox record. I mean, at the end of the toast nobody even drank. They were
just standing there, they were just frozen! That might have been one of the
worst all time toasts.
GEORGE: Alright, still her father didn't have to throw me out like that, he
could have just asked me to leave. The guy had me in a headlock! Susan's not
going tonight you know.
JERRY: What do you mean not going? why not?
GEORGE: I don't know, she said she had to pick up a friend of hers at the
airport. It cost me a hundred dollars this ticket.
JERRY: Why doesn't she pay for hers?
GEORGE: That's a very good question. You know she and I go out for dinner,
she doesn't even reach for the check. Thats all Im asking for is a reach.
Is that so much to ask for?
JERRY: It's nice to get a reach.
Loud thump is heard from the front door.
JERRY: Who is it?
KRAMER: It's me!
Kramer is on the floor
KRAMER: What, are you locking the door now?
JERRY: Because of Divola! Get in here... How come you're not dressed?
KRAMER: I am dressed.
JERRY: You're going like this?
KRAMER: Yeah. Hey I want you to hear something.
JERRY: I thought you said people dress up when they go to the opera!
KRAMER: People do, I don't.
JERRY: Well what about me! If you're going like that, Im not going like
this.
GEORGE: Wait a minute, wait a minute, do you think Im comfortable here. I
can't change, Ive got no clothes here! You've got to go like that, I cant
go like this alone!
JERRY: Why should I be uncomfortable just because my apartment is closer to
town hall than yours?
GEORGE: Thats not the issue, we're friends, if Ive got to be
uncomfortable, you've got to be uncomfortable too!
JERRY: All right, all right, Ill wear this. It's bad enough Ive got to go
to the opera Ive got to sit next to ozzie nelson over here.
Kramer is playing opera music
JERRY: Would you turn that down! What is that crap!
KRAMER: It's Pagliacci!
JERRY: Oh beautiful. Listen, we've got a little problem here, we've got two
extra tickets.
KRAMER: Why? What happened?
JERRY: Well Susan isn't going and Elaine just left me a message her friend
isn't going either.
KRAMER: Thats fantastic! We'll scalp the tickets, we'll make maybe five
hundred a ticket.
GEORGE: What? Really?
KRAMER: Yeah.
GEORGE: People are looking for tickets here?
KRAMER: What, are you kidding? Opening night Pavarotti and Pagliacci. Ha,
we're gonna clean up!
GEORGE: Oh man! I knew I was gonna love the opera.
JERRY: Oh yeah right.
KRAMER: OK come on, lets go get the tickets.
GEORGE: All right, all right.
JERRY: All right, you guys listen, I've got to wait here for Elaine, I'll
meet you in front of the theatre.
GEORGE: Oh, wait, isn't scalping illegal?
KRAMER: Oh yeah!
Kramer and George leave.
INSIDE DIVOLA'S APARTMENT
Opera music is playing, Joe Divola is putting on white clown make up.
END OF ACT 1
OUTSIDE THE THEATRE.
Jerry and Elaine are waiting.
JERRY: You sprayed him in the eyes with Binaca?
ELAINE: Cherry Binaca, its new.
JERRY: See, I don't get that. First they come out with the regular, then a
year later they come out with the cherry. They know that we like the cherry,
start with cherry! Then come out with the regular!
ELAINE: It's like I didn't even know him. He's like a totally different
person.
JERRY: Well you should hear the message from my nut. Where's George and
Kramer, I want to get inside already, I don't like standing out here, I feel
very vulnerable.
Jerry drops a coin that he was tossing.
JERRY: Hey, hey, what are you doing, thats my quarter.
MAN#!: No it's not, it's mine.
JERRY: I was just flipping it, it's mine.
MAN#!: No, I dropped it, it's mine.
JERRY: All right, do you want the quarter, take the quarter, but don't try
and tell me it's yours.
MAN#!: Well it is mine.
JERRY: What, do you think I care about the money? Is that what you think?
You want me to show you what I care about money? Here look, here look at
this, here's a dollar here look, there, thats how much I care about money.
Jerry tears up the dollar.
MAN#!: You think I care about money, thats how much I care about money, I
don't care about money.
JERRY: Oh yeah, well why dont you Just get lost.
MAN#!: Why don't you get lost.
JERRY: Because I was standing here, thats why.
MAN#!: Oh Yeah?
JERRY: Yeah!
The man walks away.
JERRY: I kinda like this opera crowd, I feel tough... Anybody else got a
problem?
IN THE PARK
Joe Divola, dressed up in a clown suit is walking through the park.
PARK GUY#1: Hey clown!
PARK GUY#2: hey clown!
PARK GUY#1: Make us laugh, clown!
PARK GUY#2: Nice face, clown!
PARK GUY#2: Make me laugh, clown!
Divola kicks them all to the ground.
ALLEYWAY
Kramer and George are trying to sell the tickets.
KRAMER: I got two, I got two huh, Paliachi, who needs two, Pagliacci, come
on, the great tragic clown, come on, check it out, he laughs, he cries, he
sings, Pagliacci. Hey, I got two beauties right here, check it out all
right.
MAN#2: Hey, hey. Are you selling.
KRAMER: Oh yeah, Im selling.
MAN#2: Where are they?
KRAMER: Orchestra, Row G, dead center, primo! You'll think you died and
went to heaven.
MAN#2: What do you want for them.
KRAMER: All right, Ill tell you what Ill do. Cause you look like a nice
guy, a thousand dollars for the duce.
MAN#2: I'll give you five hundred for the pair.
GEORGE: Ok, it's a deal!
KRAMER: Pzzzt. No.
GEORGE: No? Are you crazy?
KRAMER: Look, let me handle this.
GEORGE: Five hundred dollars, thats a great deal!
KRAMER: You're blowing this, the guys a pigeon.
The man walks away
GEORGE: Did you see that? The guy's walking away. What is wrong with you?
That was a three hundred dollar profit.
KRAMER: Look, I know what Im doing here George.
GEORGE: This is not a Metallica concert, its an opera alright, a little
dignity, a little class, just give me my ticket, I will stand over here and
sell it.
KRAMER: Oh, yeah.
GEORGE: Thank you very much. You just stand over there, Ill stand over
here.
KRAMER: I know where Im standing.
GEORGE: Alright.
KRAMER: Hey!
GEORGE: (shouting) Get your Paliachi!
OUTSIDE THEATRE
JERRY: Where are they already?
ELAINE: I guarantee they don't sell either one of those tickets.
JERRY: Hey, look, there's Bobby Eighteens father-in-law, Mr Reichman.
George and I were just talking about that today, I cant believe it! Thats
the guy who threw George out of the wedding.
ELAINE: Oh, yeah, when George made that bad toast!
JERRY: Do you remember the curse toast?
ELAINE: Oh yeah, the curse toast.
JERRY: So, can you believe that message? Now Ive got to spend the rest of
my life looking over my shoulder.
ELAINE: Me too
JERRY: Crazy Joe Divola
ELAINE: How do you know his name?
JERRY: What do you mean? Why wouldn't I know his name?
ELAINE: I never told you his name.
JERRY: I never told you his name.
ELAINE: Wait a second, who are we talking about here?
JERRY: Joe Divola.
ELAINE: Right, Joe Divola
JERRY: How do you know his name?
ELAINE: I've been out with him three times, I should know the mans name.
They click
JERRY: Oh my god, its Joe Divola
ELAINE: Is he stalking you? are you kidding me?
JERRY: That madman is trying to kill me.
ELAINE: Oh, Jerry, why didn't you tell me his name! Oh my god, he accused
me of seeing someone else, he said tell me his name, he said tell me his
name!!
JERRY: Oh! He said that! Can you imagine what he'll do if he sees me with
you! He'll think Im the one who ruined his deal at NBC and took away his
girl, he'll put a kibosh on me!
ELAINE: Oooohh, what about me!
Divola walks up to them, dressed in the clown suit.
JOE DIVOLA: Excuse me
ELAINE&JERRY: Aaahhhhh!!
ALLEYWAY
George still hasn't sold the ticket.
GEORGE: But this is Pavarotti!
MAN#3: Three hundred dollars, thats a lot of money.
Mr & Mrs Reichman are walking through the alley
MR REICHMAN: You know Steven Holstman (?) did a production at Tunis last
yeas and from what I understand, the Moslems really took to it.
GEORGE: All right, Ill tell you what, you seem like a nice guy, lets stop
jerking around. Give me.. two hundred and fifty dollars, Ive got people
waiting for me, I've got to get the hell out of here.
MR REICHMAN: Scalping! I told them to put out extra security.. Excuse me.
GEORGE: Hey pop, would you buzz off, I've got something cooking.
MR REICHMAN: Costanza!?
GEORGE: Mr Reichman?
MR REICHMAN: You've still got a mouth like a surd give me those tickets.
MRS REICHMAN: Harold, no, Harold, Harold be careful of you're hair
transplant!
OUTSIDE THE THEATRE
JOE DIVOLA: Anything is welcome, I accept change.
JERRY: I don't have anything, I gave it to that guy.
JOE DIVOLA: You know, you could just say no, you don't have to humiliate
me. I may be dressed as a clown but I am a person.
JERRY: I'm telling you, the guy took.....
JOE DIVOLA: And I don't need people like you looking down their noses at
me. I am just a street performer out here trying to make enough to get by.
Mrs Reichman runs past
MRS REICHMAN: Doctor! Doctor! Is there a doctor anywhere!
JOE DIVOLA: What, are you showing off to your girlfriend here, is that it?
ELAINE: I'm not his girlfriend. We dated for a while, but things didn't
really work out.
JOE DIVOLA: You people make me sick.
JERRY: That is one angry clown!
COMEDY CLUB
JERRY: The hardest part about being a clown, it seems to me, would be that
you're constantly referred to as a clown. 'Who was that clown?', 'I'm not
working with that clown, did you hire that clown?', 'The guy's a clown!'.
How do you even start into being a clown, how do you know that you want to
be a clown, I guess you get to a point where you're pants look so bad, it's
actually easier to become a clown than having the proper alterations done.
Because if you think about it, a clown, if there isn't a circus around them,
is really just a very annoying person. You're in the back seat of this guys
Volkswagen, 'What, you're picking somebody else up? Oh man!'
END OF ACT 2
JERRY: (Singing) Camera, curtains, lights - This is it, we'll hit the
heights - Oh what heights we'll hit - On with the show this is it!
ELAINE: You know, it is so sad, all your knowledge of high culture comes
from bugs bunny cartoons.
JERRY: Oh there's that clown again, what does he want from me. Look Im
serious, Im not kidding, I don't have the quarter, that guy took it.
JOE DIVOLA: I don't want any money.
ELAINE: I smell cherry.
JOE DIVOLA: It's Binaca.
JERRY: Binaca?
They see the real clown singing and realize that they are talking to Crazy
Joe. They run away.
ALLEYWAY
George is finalizing the deal.
GEORGE: What did we say? Two seventy-five?
MAN#3: Two fifty.
GEORGE: Two fifty? Are you sure
MAN#3: Yeah, yeah, Im sure.
GEORGE: All right, all right, two fifty.
SUSAN: George!
GEORGE: S-Susan
SUSAN: I can't believe it, Im so glad I caught you.
GEORGE: What are you doing here, I though you were going to the airport.
SUSAN: Oh, there was some problem with the plane, they landed in
Philadelphia.
GEORGE: So what, they dont have another plane? She couldn't take a bus?
SUSAN: She's coming in tomorrow. I made it!
GEORGE: Yeah you made it, how about that.
SUSAN: Oh, Im so excited, now we get to see the opera together.
George gives the man the ticket and takes the money.
GEORGE: We get to go to the opera together!
SUSAN: Who's that?
GEORGE: Thats-thats-Harry Fong, he's a very good friend of mine and he's
a big opera buff. Enjoy the show there harry!... You know what.
ENTRANCE TO THEATER.
JERRY: Come on, you gotta let us in
USHER: Not without tickets.
JERRY: We have tickets, we just don't have 'em with us.
USHER: Well thats a problem. Excuse me.
JERRY: You don't understand, someone's after us, a crazy clown is trying to
kill us.
USHER: A crazy clown is after you? Oh thats rich. Now clear the entrance so
people with tickets can get through.
Kramer slides in.
JERRY&ELAINE: We're with him, we're with him.
KRAMER: Are you guys ready?
JERRY&ELAINE: Yeah, Yeah!!
KRAMER: Have you seen George?
JERRY: We thought he was with you.
ELAINE: Come on, he's on his own, come on!
SITTING IN THE THEATER
KRAMER: These are great seats huh?
ELAINE: Yeah
KRAMER: Yeah
JERRY: Boy, some cast, huh? Pavarotti, Aver Martone.
ELAINE: Aver Martone. I've heard of her, who's she playing?
JERRY: She's playing, Pagliaccis wife, Nedda.
ELAINE: Nedda?
JERRY: Yeah.
ELAINE: Oh my god..
Man #3 enters and shuffles to his seat.
MAN#3: Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me.
Susan comes in from the other side.
JERRY: Susan! What are you doing here?
SUSAN: My Friend's flight couldnt make it.
JERRY: Where's George?
MAN#3: I got his ticket.
SUSAN: He decided not to come. He said he was uncomfortable.
JERRY: Uncomfortable? How does you think I feel?.. Hey let me ask you
something, how much did you pay for that ticket?
MAN#3: One seventy-five.
JERRY: Kramer, who'd you sell your ticket to?
KRAMER: Some nut in a clown suit!
The show starts, everyone claps except Elaine and Jerry who look very
frightened.
COMEDY CLUB
JERRY: I had some friends drag me to an opera recently, you know how
they've got those little opera glasses, you know, do you really need
binoculars, I mean how big do these people have to get before you can spot
'em. These opera kids they're going two-fifty, two-eighty,
three-twenty-five, they're wearing big white woolly vests, the women have
like the breastplates, the bullet hats with the horn coming out. If you
can't pick these people out, forget opera, think about optometry, maybe
thats more you're thing.
END OF ACT 3
Transcribed by William Fifield

The Acorn Theater in Three Oaks will stage the comedic opera I Pagliacci later this week. I Pagliacci is about a troupe of clowns in Italy. One of the clowns attacks his wife when he discovers she’s cheating on him with another man.

Chicago opera singer Warren Moulton enjoys telling the true story of how the composer came up with the storyline.

Clown

Crying Clown Opera

“The real reason is the composer Ruggiero Leoncavallo was the son of a magistrate. And when he was about ten years old his old man was hearing a case of an actor, a clown, who was part of a troupe who killed his unfaithful wife after a performance,' Moulton says. 'They had something in Italy at the time called a crime of passion. If you were out of your wits you could get a lighter sentence or even get off scott free. So they were trying to find out if this guy had lost his senses. So this actor stands up in court and says very dramatically, 'No, I do not regret my crime. If I had it to do over I'd kill her again!' So this really stuck with this kid and when he grew up and became a composer he just had to write an opera using that story.”

Clown Opera

Both Moulton and fellow actor John Payonk, who sings the title role, say Pagliacci is a great opera for first time opera-goers.

“First of all for anyone who’s new to opera, it’s short,' says Payonk. 'It’s just a little over an hour with an intermission in the middle. And, it’s so dramatic and the music is so thrilling, I guarantee you’re gonna love it. Plus, they have the supertitles above the stage, so we sing in Italian but the English words are right there. And, unlike Mozart, where the language is very flowery, this is just real. And, there’s some great acting in this cast. From the acting, you know what’s going on.”

“I know, myself, some operas are boring,' Payonk says. 'You know they go on forever, it’s just like what’s happening, nothing’s happening. In this one something’s happening all the time.”

Director Carl Ratner agrees, but says the opera isn’t for the squeamish.

Clown Opera Pagliacci

“It can be a great first opera if someone isn’t too horrified by people losing their lives on stage,” says Ratner. And, Ratner says, the music makes the dramatic action even more intense. “The way that the music shapes the emotional experience,' Ratner says. 'As long as you don’t go against that with what you do on stage, then the music so supports the audience, coming into the drama of the piece, and the emotionality of it and it just takes it to another level.”

Clown Opera

Actor John Payonk says some people are surprised they can see an opera in a small town like Three Oaks, and not just in big cities like Chicago and New York.

“Opera is for everybody,' says Payonk. 'It’s gotten such a highbrow reputation but it really isn’t, especially not this opera. It’s based on truth and it’s very dramatic. It’s like an episode of something you’d see on TV. There’s a love triangle, there’s murder, there’s mayhem. There is funny stuff.'

I Pagliacci will be performed Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evening at the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks.