Saturday, March 21, 2009

tears of a clown

I went to the opera for the first time on Thursday and saw Cavalierria Rusticana/Pagliacci. It was amazing. I went expecting to appreciate, but not necessarily love it. Instead, I ended up walking out in tears. Pagliacci hit me especially hard; I'm pretty sure I felt my heart break as he sang Vesti La Guibba. The juxtaposition of a clown and the ironic cruelty of having to ridicule losing the love of his life to another in a public performance...the painted smile, the tears drawn onto his face...whew. I never would have expected this, but sometimes its the least predictable things that hit you the hardest, right? Just admire.

"Laugh, Pagliaccio, so the crowd will cheer!
Turn your distress and tears into jest,
your pain and sobbing into a funny face - Ah!
Laugh, Pagliaccio,
at your broken love!
Laugh at the grief that poisons your heart!"

And that's just the translation. Unbelievable. I will definitely be returning.

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