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Gianni Schicchi

Puccini’s trio of operas, Il trittico, concludes with a riotous black comedy, brought to the stage in Richard Jones’s joyful and witty production.

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of Gianni Schicchi. It was last on stage 25 February—15 March 2016.

The Story

When Buoso Donati dies, his family are horrified to learn that he has left all his money to a monastery. They turn to the cunning Gianni Schicchi to help them change his will. But will their plan backfire?

Read more… (Contains spoilers)

Background

Giacomo Puccini created Gianni Schicchi – the final work in his contrasting triple bill of operas, Il trittico – from a ‘desire to laugh and make others laugh’. It is his last comedy and its robust humour recalls some of the great Italian comic operas of the 19th century, such as Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff. Puccini based the opera on a passage from Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, and engaged writer Giovacchino Forzano to create the libretto.

Richard Jones’s production places the action in Italy in the mid-20th century and John Macfarlane’s designs provide a lively backdrop for the twists and turns of the plot. The score displays a kaleidoscope of different musical styles, including Lauretta’s famous aria, ‘O mio babbino caro’, in which she begs her father to intervene to help her marry her sweetheart Rinuccio, and the grand comic ensemble in which Schicchi impersonates the dying Buoso and remakes his will.

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