NOVA Center for the Performing Arts -- Billings, Montana

Poster Design by Melanie Fabrizius

Show dates May 31, June 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 2021
Director - Michelle Berger

Plot Summary

Ruggero Leoncavallo (1858-1919)


The Clowns

Composed 1892
Libretto by the composer (in Italian) SYNOPSIS

A dramatic tale of love and betrayal, Pagliacci revolves around a commedia del arte troupe.

Canio and Nedda are married, and the leads in the troupe along with Tonio and Beppe, however Nedda is secretly having an affair with Silvio.

Fearing Canio’s anger, Nedda continues to hide the affair, and even goes as far to attempt to break it off with Silvio.

Silvio and Nedda’s love is strong, however, and they plan to run away together. Tonio, also in love with Nedda, confesses his love for her, but she turns him away, shaming him.

In an act of revenge, Tonio tells Canio that Nedda is having an affair like he suspected.

During a performance, Canio confronts Nedda, and stabs her. Silvio attempts to save Nedda, running up on stage, but gets stabbed by Canio as well.

The audience, not realizing it was real, claps until Canio screams at them, “the comedy is ended.”


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NOVA Center for the Performing Arts  -  2317 Montana Avenue - Billings, MT 59101
PO Box 11
Billings, MT 59103
Phone: 406-591-9535