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Few artists have had a greater impact on Met history than Franco Zeffirelli, the beloved director and designer who created 11 productions for the company over the course of an unrivaled 35-year career. Following his debut at the “old Met” on 39th Street and Broadway with a staging of Verdi’s Falstaff, he helped inaugurate the new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in 1966 with an extravagant production of Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra, and four years later, he returned with a now-legendary double bill of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. In this radio broadcast, Fausto Cleva takes the podium to lead the second half of the bill, Leoncavallo’s searing verismo drama about lust, infidelity, and murder among a traveling company of actors. Starring as Canio, the troupe’s leader who ultimately kills his wife, tenor Richard Tucker heads a stunning ensemble cast. Soprano Teresa Stratas is his longsuffering companion, Nedda, with baritone Dominic Cossa as her illicit lover, Silvio, and baritone Frank Guarrera as the vindictive Tonio, who exposes their affair—with disastrous results.

Full Synopsis

Performance Info

Performance Date

Feb 7, 1970


Ruggiero Leoncavallo


Ruggiero Leoncavallo

Run Time

1 HRS 13 MIN

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus