Opera Scotland

Gianni Schicchi 2019Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Read more about the opera Gianni Schicchi

Schicchi has in the past shown itself to be an excellent vehicle for the necessarily large cast of students. While some of the characters may be elderly, that needn't be an essential feature, if tactfully done. The black comedy lends itself well to a team of enthusiastic youthful performers.

This staging was excellent musically, with especially fine vocal performances from Schicchi himself, (Arthur Bruce), his daughter Lauretta (Stephanie Stanway) and prospective son-in-law Rinuccio (Seumas Begg). These three happen to be given the greatest solo opportunities, which were all seized upon gratefully. The oldest of the relations, Zita (Fiona Joice) and Simone (Rhys Thomas), also showed their dramatic stature.

Central to the enterprise was the excellent student orchestra under the dedicated control of a new guest conductor, Matthew Kofi Waldren. On opening night his pacing was just right. Within Tom Paris's very straightforward visual concept, the production of James Bonas was directed with clarity and not too much of the kind of slapstick that frequently mars staging of this work.

However, there were still a few questions about that staging. The setting was extremely simple - a restricted colour palette (black and white) and little to occupy the stage - the deathbed, a string of lightbulbs and not much more. Costumes were nondescript modern, with little to distinguish the characters. In particular, Schicchi was not shown to be inferior in class to the family who requested his help. Rinuccio's hooped shirt and braces gave him a near clown-like appearance, which at least made him stand out from the others. Simone, very tall and thin, was given a skimpy tailcoat to indicate his higher social status.

Here it was mounted as the first part of a double bill with Poulenc's slightly later post-war farce Les Mamelles de Tirésias. The musical elements were also delightful, while the visual side of the second offering, in startling pastel shades, could hardly have been more of a contrast.

Performance Cast

Zita a cousin of Buoso, aged sixty

Fiona Joice

Rinuccio Zita's nephew, aged twenty-four

Seumas Begg

Gherardo Buoso's nephew, aged forty

Thomas Kinch

Nella Gherardo's wife, aged thirty-four

Nia Coleman

Gherardino Gherardo's son, aged seven

Karina Bligh

Betto di Signa a cousin, age unknown

Timothy Edmundson

Simone a cousin, aged seventy

Rhys Thomas

Marco Betto's son, aged forty-five

Jolyon Loy

La Ciesca Marco's wife, aged thirty-eight

Sara Nealley

Gianni Schicchi aged fifty-one

Arthur Bruce

Lauretta Schicchi's daughter, aged twenty-one

Stephanie Stanway

Maestro Spinelloccio a doctor

Oskar McCarthy

Ser Amantio di Nicolao a notary

Macarthur Alewel

Pinellino a cobbler

William Frost

Guccio a dyer

Tambet Kikas

Performance DatesGianni Schicchi 2019

Map List

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland | Glasgow

19 Jan, 19.15 21 Jan, 19.15 25 Jan, 19.15 26 Jan, 19.15

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