Story & Setting:
In a working-class Sicilian town, the arrival of a theatrical troupe ends in tragedy between the titular clown Canio and his unfaithful wife Nedda. Using characters from the Commedia dell'Arte, the opera's action is quick and intense, with a score to match. David McVicar's production sets the action two generations later than the original, in the post–World War II period.
Leoncavallo was greatly influenced by the success of Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana, and aimed to create a similar one-act opera in the verismo style. The musical language, small-town Sicilian setting, and tragic love triangle have led to this piece traditionally being presented as a double bill alongside its inspiration.
Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919)