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Most recent performance

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

The Story

Giorgetta, the wife of Michele, a Parisian barge owner, has fallen in love with Luigi, one of her husband’s stevedores – though Michele is growing increasingly suspicious.

Michele forces Luigi to admit his relationship with Giorgetta and then strangles him. He covers the body with the cloak he used to wrap Giorgetta and their child, who died in infancy. Giorgetta, repentant, approaches – and Michele reveals her lover’s corpse.


Giacomo Puccini’s triptych of operas, Il trittico, opens with Il tabarro (The Cloak) – a taut melodrama set in working-class Paris. It is based on the play La Houppelande by the French playwright Didier Gold, which Puccini saw in 1912. The libretto was created by Giuseppe Adami, with whom Puccini also collaborated on La rondine.

Il tabarro opens with an evocation of the rippling waters of the Seine – a musical motif that runs throughout the opera. The river is also powerfully represented in Ultz’s stage designs, which re-create the moored barges and tall, soot-blackened buildings lining the Seine. The Royal Opera’s production opened in 2011 as part of the first complete staging of Il trittico at Covent Garden since 1965.

News and features

  1. Opera Essentials: Il trittico

    10 February 2016

    Our quick introduction to Puccini’s trio of short operas, bringing together the dramatic, tragic and comedic best of this giant of Italian opera.

On Wikipedia


Il tabarro (The Cloak) is an opera in one act by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Giuseppe Adami, based on Didier Gold's play La houppelande. It is the first of the trio of operas known as Il trittico. The first performance was given on 14 December 1918 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Abstract taken from the Wikipedia article Il tabarro, available under a Creative Commons license.