At Met Opera, ‘Pagliacci’ Goes Vaudeville as ‘Cavalleria’ Turns

By ANTHONY TOMMASINIAPRIL 15, 2015

For this new “Cav/Pag,” the Met recruited a strong cast, featuring Marcelo Álvarez in the lead tenor roles of both works: Turiddu, the peasant returned from the army in “Cavalleria”; and Canio, the leader of the troupe in “Pagliacci,” who plays the clown in the traveling show. This double assignment is a formidable challenge, and Mr. Álvarez delivers the most impassioned and commanding singing I have heard from him at the Met.

…The Latinate colorings and fervor of Mr. Álvarez’s singing suit the impetuous young Turiddu…

…Mr. Álvarez, first appearing in a light suit with a bow tie and bowler hat, makes an affable and frumpy Canio, loved by the crowd as the clown Pagliaccio in the play…  he sang with intensity and soaring lyricism, and gave an anguished account of the touchstone aria “Vesti la giubba.”