Pagliacci, Pagliacci Project, or Koev's Pagliacci is a Metal-opera/Art-metal project from Bulgaria, founded in 2014 by two ex-members of the Symphonic metal act Allegorist - Zhivko Koev (keyboards, music, lyrics) and Katerina Simeonova (vocals). Their ep "Yours Sincerely, Sister Josephine" is released on june 8 of 2017. The next step is their concept album "The Village of Madmen" It will feature 4 vocalists (each playing the role of one of the four main characters in the story) and lots of guest musicians from all over the world.
All Metal projects share one common feature: a leader must be ahead of the whole thing, carrying the responsibility to compose the songs, invite musicians, and all those parts of recording songs. It’s a matter of will, and to believe in yourself. So we can say that the Hungarian keyboardist Zhivko Koev is a guy with guts, because he carries the conceptual work of Pagliacci on his shoulders. The first fruit of his efforts is this EP, “Yours Sincerely, Sister Josephine”.
On the EP, we can find a solid work based upon a concept, and all the songs are used to tell the listener the story. Then, we have a Symphonic Metal with some deeper and introspective touches from Gothic Rock here and there. Of course this same formula was used many times before the band, but the elegant and grandiose insight used makes all sound fresh,
new and with personality. It’s a very good work. The production was done in a way that the priority is to sound clear to show all the elegance of the musical arrangements of each song. Of course it is heavy and has that aggressive touch that Metal albums must have, but it is focused on the creation of a musical environment that can sustain the story.
"Dear Brother Dominick" is an elegant introduction to the wonderful "Black Flowers", filled with very good orchestrations and excellent female voices, and "So Sane", very charming guitars and good vocals duets, and "Wise Men & Lunatics" shows fine rhythmic changes and hooking melodies. And "Calling Melchizedek" is a hypnotic narrative following an introspective and dense melody.
All these five songs are here to prepare the listener for the upcoming album, called "The Village of Madmen". They are a fine band and I hope the next album is as good as "Yours Sincerely, Sister Josephine". –Metal Temple
Cast & Crew Biographies
Zhivko is a Bulgarian composer, Kapellmeister and arranger at Vivaldi Metal Project, keyboardist, lyricist and founding member of the bands Pagliacci and Allegorist. He started playing the piano at the age of twelve with the sole purpose of learning to compose his own music. Two years later he joined his first metal band. Zhivko has been influenced by various genres including Prog-Rock, Gothic Metal, Symphonic Metal and Classical Music. He combines all of these influences (and more) in his original compositions. He is known for his story-driven songwriting and conceptual lyrics.
In his work, he strives to achieve a balance between the musical and lyrical components of a song so that they enhance and complement one another. About the Vivaldi Metal Project, Zhivko says: "I love the idea for the Vivaldi Metal Project! Vivaldi’s music has always had a special place in my heart and in the line-up for the Project I see some of my all-time favorite musicians!"
Katya is a classically trained Mezzo-soprano from Bulgaria. She sings Metal and Alternative music. Katya started taking singing lessons at the age of 15 and has gradually focused her vocal studies in Chamber music. She sings in the metal bands Pagliacci and Allegorist, and has collaborated with artists in different genres of Metal and Rock.
Toheres Records Review 26th May 2017
After three digital singles Bulgarian Metal Opera project Pagliacci released their debut EP, "Yours Sincerely, Sister Jesephine" on June 8 2017. Pagliacci is an international Metal Opera project masterminded by keyboardist Zhivko Koev (Vivaldi Metal Project, ex-Allegorist), featuring musicians from all over the world such as: Mistheria on piano and keytar Bruce Dickinson, Rob Rock, Benjamin Lechuga (Delta, Lechuga) on acoustic guitar, Julie Bélanger Roy (Märchenbilder, Gone in April) on viola, Georgy Latev (Ghost Warfare) on guitar and bass and others.
It also features four vocalists each playing the part of one of the characters in the story: Dimitar Naydev, Katerina Simeonova, Dimitar Belchev and Elitsa Stoyanova.
"Yours Sincerely, Sister Josephine" is a concept album, introducing the world, story and some of the characters featured in Pagliacci’s work. It also serves as a bridge between their upcoming first and second full-length albums, featuring characters from both and connecting their narratives.
Memberlist of all 18 musicians who took part in the recording of "Yours Sincerely, Sister Josephine"
Benjamin Lechuga (acoustic guitar)
Davy Stuyck (bass)
Dez Marinkov (drums)
Dimitar Belchev (vocals)
Димитър Найдев (vocals)
Elitsa Stoyanova (speech)
Georgi Latev (guitar, bass)
Julie Bélanger Roy (viola)
All the songs that were written bij Zhivko will come out with his new project, Tsena Koev. Zhivko says: Due to unforseen circumstances, I have put the project on pause for the time being. Most of the unreleased Pagliacci material will come out performed by my new project - Tsena Koev. (YouTube) In fact today (February 25, 2022) is the release date of one of the songs that were written for the Pagliacci album. Check it out: The Traveller