Italian play 'Pagliacci' has the perfect message for modern times
March 13, 2018 | 10:29 PM
by Times News Service
On 15 and 17 March, Pagliacci, the overwhelmingly famous Italian play, will be featured at ROHM.

Muscat: The Royal Opera House Muscat’s latest production contains a message that is more important now than it has ever been before.

On 15 and 17 March, Pagliacci, the overwhelmingly famous Italian play, will be featured at ROHM, Jose Cura and Davinia Rodriguez will play the lead roles in Pagliacci. “If you look at the world today, one thing that seems to be lacking the most is respect for fellow men,” Argentine Cura, who plays the male lead of Canio, said.

“A few months ago, we had the #MeToo campaign go viral on social media. Given that this play is essentially about how a man treats a woman, as little more than just his property, I think it drives home a very important message that treating someone badly will come back to haunt you,” he said.

In Pagliacci, written by Italian playwright Ruggero Leoncavallo, male lead Canio adopts and raises an orphaned girl named Nedda as his own. Subsequently, he marries her.

In exchange for bringing her up, however, he expects her complete obedience, a condition that Nedda adjusts to only on the surface.

Nedda and Canio are travelling performers, scheduled to perform in a southern Italian village with the rest of their troupe.

While Canio is away in the village, another man, Silvio, professes his love for Nedda, and the story then focusses on how Canio deals with the situation.

“I think there are many plots in the story of Pagliacci, which are a collection of some of the problems that a couple faces in real life on a daily basis.

“Of course, you would not have faced all of them, but theatre is always a reflection of what happens in our daily life. I think this is why a play as strong as this one can be related to,” Cura said.

“Nedda keeps telling Canio that she has had enough of his poor treatment of her, but he does not listen. Yes, he brought her up from nothing, but that does not mean she owes him anything because what he did should have come from the pious nature of his heart,” he added.

Talking about the play, female lead Davinia Rodriguez said: “When you play a character that is as intense as the ones we are playing, it is emotionally draining, because you have to put yourself in the shoes of that character. You cannot just do something because the director tells you to do it or because it says so in the script. You actually have to feel the character and make it flow through you. Only then will the audience understand the message that you want to give them through the opera.”

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