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?
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 Aligheri’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.
News and features
1 February 2013
Award to be decided by public vote.
6 June 2012
Richard Jones's acclaimed production available to buy from ROH shop.
17 April 2012
Two Royal Opera nominations in this year's Royal Philharmonic Society Awards.
12 October 2011
The second in our series featuring among others La traviata on a bus in the Australian outback and Bond in Bregenz.