- The 77th Season of Concerts 2018–2019
- New York Opera Society
- The Evolution of Fools: From Jesters to Buffoons
January 6 at 3:30
West Building, West Garden Court
Celebrating Sense of Humor
Our contemporary preoccupation with reality entertainment was foretold by grand opera long before the advent of television. Jesters and their antics reveled in ancient civilizations and formed the cornerstone of entertainment, alleviating cares with their verbal jousting. As time passed, the depiction of jesters evolved to entities “wise enough to play the fool” (William Shakespeare), and finally, to the buffoon. Ruggero Leoncavallo and Giuseppe Verdi experimented with every facet of laughter, satire, and tragedy commensurate with the fool's transformation from the court, to the stage, to modern times. The concert features excerpts from the masterworks Pagliacci (Leoncavallo), Falstaff (Verdi), and Rigoletto (Verdi), as well as original dialogue by renowned opera director Marc Verzatt.