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Review: Piper’s powerful performance…
Angry and despondent, Piper’s Canio launches into one of opera’s most venerated arias “Vesti la giubba” (“Put on the make-up”), the “tears of a clown” classic that influenced a barrage of sad sacks in face paint for years to come. Piper’s powerful performance of the soaring anthem erases every memory of every predecessor who belted out, “Ridi, pagliaccio!” (“Laugh, clown!”) — and that’s saying a lot.
With a vocal register that the program describes as spinto tenor — named for the Italian word for “pushed” — Piper delivers exaltant crescendoes that sound effortless, especially in the opera’s famous, murderous finale, “No, pagliaccio, non son” (“No, a clown, I am not.”)