Review: Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci

John Brice (Tonio), Laura Wood (Nedda), Chris Dodd (Peppe), members of Preston Opera and Broughton Business and Enterprise College in rehearsal for Pagliacci.

John Brice (Tonio), Laura Wood (Nedda), Chris Dodd (Peppe), members of Preston Opera and Broughton Business and Enterprise College in rehearsal for Pagliacci.

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Preston Opera’s production of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci is going to present opera to the city of Preston as it’s never been seen before.

The Clowns is will be moved from its traditional Italian setting to Preston as the city is celebrating the end of the 1902 Guild.

Based on a true story about a troupe of travelling actors, the comedy turns to tragedy as a middle-aged performer murders his unfaithful actress wife.

It includes the famous aria On with the Motley, immortalised by Caruso, Gigli and others.

But the staging of this short opera is only part of the evening.

St John’s Minster will be the setting of a street party, featuring circus acts, folk dancers and magicians as well as musical items by Preston Opera members on the theme of clowns.

The finale of the evening will be the presentation of Pagliacci.

Joining the regular company of Preston Opera will be tenor Nick Hardy as Canio, local baritone Philip Clieve, and students from Broughton Business and Enterprise College.

Providing the alternative entertainment on the day will be The Pavement Prats and folk dance groups the Lancashire Wallopers Clog Dancers and Leyland Morris Men.

Booths supermarkets, which is sponsoring the event, will provide period-appropriate food, wine and beer, but the Temperance Movement drinks will also be catered for by Mr Fitzpatrick’s Temperance Bar.

Pagliacci is on at St John’s Minster from October 24-26. Doors open at 7pm.

Tickets cost £14 (concessions £12, students £6).

Children are admitted free on the basis of one child per paying adult (children must have a ticket).

Tickets are available online at www.prestonopera.org.uk, by telephone 07709 872773, or at the Information Centre, The Guild Hall.