Letters to Pagliacci: Preview

I was inspired to create this shoot after reading about Pagliacci, a 19th century Italian opera. The opera features an acting troupe all dressed up as clowns. The play within the play becomes irrelevant as the actors, torn apart by love turned betrayal, all become violent and vengeful. During a performance, the acting troupe finally disintegrates, as they begin to murder each other in front of an audience that does not suspect the deaths are real. They clap as heartbroken lovers die in front of them, until one exclaims famously: “The comedy is finished!”

What would you have told the Pagliacci? What advice could you give them?

I would have told them that time heals all. I would say what I say to my sisters, and my cousins after them—that love heals the wound it makes. I would tell them that love is better longing than wearying. To invest in themselves as their most important relationship, and give themselves distance from the ones who hurt them. To try their best to carve out a little happiness, a little specialness, out of the pain and the lonely—go take a walk and read a new book.

Be it unrequited love or betrayal, everyone has lost romantic love and felt the pain of what could have - or may have - been. It’s universal, and it is horrible. It leaves an emptiness.

We wanted to open up the floor to our readers to ask their advice on how to deal with the pain of a broken heart. What did you wish someone had told you beforehand? What would you tell your own little sibling? How do things get better, or what helps pass the time?

These submitted stories will appear in the printed version of the zine, available for pre-order here: https://www.audacityzine.com/shop/pre-order-issue-8-shipping


Photographer: Dorothea Robinson

Model: Sadie Lidji

HMUA: Maiya Evans, Anna Strother

Thank you to Raw Paw Studio!

The Audacity