Opera Scotland

Gianni Schicchi

Tours by decade

1920s - 2 tours

1926 - British National Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1927 - British National Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1940s - 1 tour

1944 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1950s - 1 tour

1957 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1960s - 2 tours

1966 - Royal Scottish Academy of Music
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1969 - Teatro Comunale, Florence
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1980s - 1 tour

1980 - Tayside Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

2000s - 2 tours

2010s - 8 tours

2010 - Fife Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2011 - English Touring Opera
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2013 - Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society
Fully staged, piano accompaniment
2014 - Opera Bohemia
Fully staged, piano accompaniment
2015 - Opera Bohemia
Fully staged, piano accompaniment
2016 - Opera Camerata
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2018 - Edinburgh Studio Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2019 - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Fully Staged with Orchestra

2020s - 1 tour

2020 - Aberdeen University Opera Society
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration

Tours by location

Third part of Il Trittico, three one act operas designed to be played together. The others are Il Tabarro and Suor Angelica.

Giacomo Puccini (born Lucca, 22 December 1858; died Brussels, 29 November 1924).

Giovacchino Forzano.

Original scenario based on a character mentioned in The Inferno, Canto XXX (Dante 1265-1321).

First performance: New York (Metropolitan Opera), 14 December 1918.
First UK performance: London (Covent Garden), 18 June 1920.
First performance in Scotland: Glasgow (Theatre Royal), 7 November 1923.
Scottish Opera première: N/A.

Gianni Schicchi has always been significantly the most popular of the Trittico pieces, and given its success, it seems surprising that it is Puccini’s only attempt at a comedy. Also, when it is separated from the other two, the question always arises of what to play before it, and several different attempts have been made without achieving greater success than Puccini’s original arrangement.

Main Characters
Zita, a cousin aged 60 (mezzo-soprano)
Rinuccio, her nephew aged 24 (tenor)
Gherardo, Buoso’s nephew aged 40 (tenor)
Nella, his wife aged 34 (soprano)
Betto di Signa, Buoso’s poor brother-in-law, age unknown (bass)
Simone, a cousin aged 70 (bass)
Marco, his son aged 45 (baritone)
La Ciesca, Marco’s wife 38 (mezzo-soprano)
Gianni Schicchi, aged 50 (baritone)
Lauretta, his daughter aged 21 (soprano)

Plot Summary
In Florence, 1299, wealthy Buoso Donati has just died, surrounded by grieving relatives. They have heard a rumour that his property has been left to the church. They start searching for his will, becoming more frantic as each finds another false trail. When Rinuccio at last finds it, he demands as his reward permission to marry Lauretta, the daughter of Schicchi, a notorious rogue. He sends the boy Gherardino away to fetch the pair while the older relations gather round to read the will. It is as they feared, and the monks will grow fat on their money. No solution seems obvious, but Rinuccio maintains that Schicchi will think of something. When he arrives the problem is explained to him, at which point Lauretta sings her famous appeal “O, mio babbino caro”. In spite of the insults from Zita and the others, and only to help Rinuccio and Lauretta, he agrees to assist. He at last has an idea. Lauretta is sent out to feed the birds so that she can’t overhear, and it is confirmed that nobody else knows of Buoso’s death. When the doctor arrives, Schicchi gets into bed behind the curtains, and, imitating Buoso, says he is feeling better. The doctor goes, and preparations are made for the dictation of a new will. Each then gives him instructions about the disposition of property, to which he agrees. He then points out the penalty for discovery – amputation of the right hand and exile from Florence. When the lawyer arrives with two witnesses, Schicchi announces an economical funeral and small bequests to each relation in turn. However the major prizes are left to Schicchi himself.

The Cast

Betto di Signa
 a cousin, age unknown
Buoso Donati
 the deceased
 Gherardo's son, aged seven
 Buoso's nephew, aged forty
Gianni Schicchi
 aged fifty-one
 a dyer
La Ciesca
 Marco's wife, aged thirty-eight
 Schicchi's daughter, aged twenty-one
Maestro Spinelloccio
 a doctor
 Betto's son, aged forty-five
 Gherardo's wife, aged thirty-four
 a cobbler
 Zita's nephew, aged twenty-four
Ser Amantio di Nicolao
 a notary
 a cousin, aged seventy
 a cousin of Buoso, aged sixty

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