Killer Nuns and Clowns with Knives

Composer Pierre Boulez once said that the solution to the declining audience for opera was to blow up the opera houses, the kind of overly dramatic line that, quite frankly, belongs in an opera.

If drama’s your thing, you can’t do better than the original pairing of one-act operas showing at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts this Sunday. The first work on the bill, Pagliacci, joins the long line of cultural works to point out the frightening nature of clowns. Canio, the leader of a traveling troupe of red-nosed jokesters, learns that his wife Nedda has been packing it into the clown car with another man, so in a gesture worthy of Stephen King, he kills both of them with a big knife. The last line —“The comedy is over” — is as gangster as it gets.

Pags is followed by Suor Angelica, the story of a woman forced by her family into a convent after she has a child out of wedlock. When the nun’s aunt shows up unexpectedly with bad news about the boy, the misery begins in earnest.
Sat., Nov. 14, 8 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 15, 2 p.m.; Wed., Nov. 18, 8 p.m.; Fri., Nov. 20, 8 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 22, 2 p.m.; Tue., Nov. 24, 8 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 28, 8 p.m., 2009


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