The Art of Self-Improvement
Comedy comes in many flavours and the current double bill of L’Heure espagnole / Gianni Schicchi is delicious confirmation of this notion.
Ravel‘s vibrant, yet elegant score captures Concepcion‘s frantic efforts to find a worthy lover among an unlikely list of candidates – poet, banker and muleteer. Keeping all three apart is difficult enough without the added fear of being caught out by her clockmaker husband Torquemada. Will Concepcion succeed? Only time, and a pair of clocks, will tell…
In Florence, meanwhile, there’s a corpse in the bed and an unwanted will in the cupboard. What will the greedy relatives of the not so dearly departed Buoso Donati do? Reluctantly call on the ‘lowly’ Gianni Schicchi of course. In Puccini‘s only comedy we are treated to a master rogue at work as Schicchi impersonates a dying man and double crosses the grasping relatives for the sake of his daughter’s happiness.
With astute direction from Richard Jones, gloriously vivid designs by John Macfarlane and Nicky Gillibrand, wonderful casts led by Ruxandra Donose (Concepcion) and Thomas Allen (Gianni Schicchi), and conducting duties shared between Messrs Pappano and Griffiths you are cordially invited to feast on music and laughter.
L’Heure espagnole / Gianni Schicchi 17, 20, 22 (sign-language interpreted performance), 24 (matinee) and 28 October.