Written by Bernard Stambler based on a melodrama by Andreyev
Opera in 3 Acts. An operatic realization of Andreyev's psychological melodrama, set in a Parisian circus at the turn of the century. Pantaloon offers enormous color and dramatic action with its constant movement of circus characters: lion tamer, bareback rider, barkers, clowns, acrobats, dancers, etc. In the opening scene, Tilly and Polly, clowns in Briquet's Continental Circus, are rehearsing their act when Briquet and Count Mancini enter arguing. An aristocratic stranger arrives and asks to become a clown in the circus. With misgivings, Briquet hires him as Pantaloon: "He Who Gets Slapped."
As the opera progresses, Pantaloon, with clever acts and moments of gentle philosophizing, is able to show audiences how to laugh at their own misfortunes. Meanwhile, he exposes the shabby marriage arrangement that Count Mancini has tried to effect between his daughter, Consuelo, and the rich Baron Regnard. Against this intrigue is the triangle of passion between Consuelo, Bezano (the bareback rider), and Zinida, the lion tamer.
In the final act, Mancini confesses his frauds and Pantaloon, rebuffed in his love for Consuelo, takes off his clown's costume and quietly departs by the street door through which he entered. Duration: ~ 2 Hours
| TILLY and POLLY, male clowns || Mute |
| COUNT MANCINI, a shabby aristocrat || Tenor |
| BRIQUET, ringmaster and owner of the circus || Bass-Baritone |
| ZINIDA, a lion-tamer and Briquet's wife || Dramatic Soprano |
| PANTALOON, a gentleman turned clown || Baritone |
| CONSUELO, The Bareback Tango Queen || Soprano |
| BEZANO, bareback rider, Consuelo's trainer and partner || Tenor |
| BARON REGNARD, a stolid aristocrat, from commerce || Bass-Baritone |
| CHORUS, circus personnel || Acting Role |
May 1956. First produced under the title "PANTALOON" by The Columbia Theatre Associates of the School of Dramatic Arts in cooperation with the Columbia University Opera Workshop in the Juilliard Concert Hall
April 1959, New York City Opera Company, revised version of the opera under its present title
2(1.2/Pic) 1(EH) 2 2 - 4 3 3 0 - T - P - H - Str