Claudia, The Opera Critic
age: 12 years

Worksheet

Recitar! Vesti La Giubba.  Perform!  Wear The Costume.
Sung by the tenor, Roberto Alagna

 


This aria is from the short opera Pagliacci by composer Ruggero Leoncavallo.  The title of the opera - Pagliacci - means 'Clowns.'   It is an opera in two acts and was first performed in Milan in 1892.

The famous aria is sung by a theatrical clown called Canio whilst he is preparing to go on stage.  He is putting on his costume and make-up and looking at himself in the mirror. 

Canio is sad because he has just discovered that his wife, Nedda, has fallen in love with another man. 

Even though he is crying with sadness, Canio decides that the show must go on.  So, he forces himself to get ready and, whilst doing so, he sings this sad aria.