SUNDAY
OCTOBER 17
2:00 PM

 

 PUCCINI's
SUOR ANGELICA & GIANNI SCHICCHI 
 

FRIDAY
OCTOBER 15
8:00 PM

 

SUNDAY
OCTOBER 17
2:00 PM

 

TUESDAY
OCTOBER 19
7:30 PM

 

WHERE THERE'S A WILL, THERE'S A WAY

 

The fall operas contrast the hope and pathos of Suor Angelica (The Original Sister Act) with the rollicking comedy, Gianni Schicchi (Funny Money). Directed by award-winning director Steven LaCosse, Suor Angelica is a tale of loss and repentance. Puccini composed the heart-wrenching story of a young lady who is sent to a convent as punishment for having a child out of wedlock. Suor Angelica is a powerful drama, made even more moving by Puccini’s music, which frames the young heroine’s tragic destiny. By contrast, the brisk and lively music of Gianni Schicchi, Puccini’s only comedy, perfectly matches the opera’s intriguing plot. Greedy members of a family are trying to gain control of the estate of a dying relative and Gianni Schicchi is brought to help secure the inheritance. He, however, has a plan of his own and turns the con on the family. The most popular of Puccini’s three one-act operas, which together are known as Il Trittico (The Triptych), Gianni Schicchi features the famous aria “O mio babbino caro” (My Dear Father).

Performances

Friday, October 15 at 8:00 PM

Sunday, October 17 at 2:00 PM

Tuesday, October 19 at 7:30 PM

MUSIC BY
Giacomo Puccini

Libretto by
Giovacchino Forzano

Premiered
14 December 1918, New York (Metropolitan Opera)

Sung in ITALIAN
(with English translation)

Directed by
Steven LaCosse

Company Premiere

CAST AND CREW

SuorAngMedRes.jpg
GianniMedRes.jpg
 

SYNOPSIS

The Story of SUOR ANGELICA (The Original Sister Act)

Place: A convent near Siena

Time: The latter part of the 17th century

Run time:

Sister Angelica, a Florentine noblewoman, has been compelled by her family to take the veil, following a youthful fault, and for seven years has in vain been waiting tidings from her family or friends. The abbess announces that Angelica's aunt, the Princess, has come to call on her and warns her to be full of submission and humility in her conversation with the old lady. The Princess coldly tells Angelica that she has come in order that she may sign a certain act of release which is made necessary by the coming wedding of the nun's younger sister. She adds that one course of action only is open to Angelica, and that course is lifelong expiation.

Finally, in answer to Angelica's question, the Princess informs her that her child, “the baby whom she had seen and kissed only once,” had died two years previously. Thereupon Angelica, seized by a sudden frenzy, concocts a poison and seeks suicide. Seized by remorse at her act, she implores the Virgin not to let her die in mortal sin, and then a miracle takes place. The Mother of Comfort suddenly appears on the threshold of the little church, enveloped in celestial radiance; a blonde child walks in front of the Virgin, who, with a gesture of ineffable benevolence, gently pushes the the boy into the arms of his dying mother, while a choir of nuns and angels sings “Thou Art Saved.”

The Story of Gianni Schicchi (Funny Money)

Place: A convent near Siena

Time: The latter part of the 17th century

Run time:

Like vultures, family members gather round the bed of the recently deceased aristocrat, Buoso Donati, to mourn his passing, while secretly hoping to inherit his great fortune. Betto, Donati's estranged brother-in-law, mentions a rumor that upsets the family. He has heard that Donati has left his entire fortune to a monastery. The family begins to frantically search for Donati's will. It is finally found by Rinuccio, the son of Donati's cousin, Zita. Rinuccio pulls Zita aside and asks for permission to marry Lauretta, the daughter of Gianni Schicchi. She tells him that he can marry whom ever he pleases once he gains his inheritance. Rinuccio sends a note to Gianni Schicchi and his daughter.

When the will is read, their fears have come true. Donati has, in fact, left his fortune to a monastery. When peasants, Gianni Schicchi and Lauretta arrive, they are treated poorly by the family. Rinuccio thinks that Schicchi can help recover Donati's wealth. Schicchi is insulted by the family's behavior and refuses to help. When Lauretta begs him (singing the famous "O bio babbino caro"), he finally changes his mind.

When Schicchi puts his plan in motion, he commands that everyone present mustn't tell anyone of Donati's death. They move the lifeless body into another room and call for the doctor. Schicchi hides behind the bed curtains when the doctor arrives. Delighted in Donati's recovery, the doctor departs boasting of his admirable skills, none the wiser he has been duped. Schicchi now has paperwork documenting that Donati is still alive.

 

Disguising himself as Donati, he begins to create a new will. The family couldn't be any happier as they start claiming possessions (each has secretly bribed Schicchi into including particular items for them in the will). It isn't long that death bells ring from the church. Fearing that news of Donati's death has spread, they are relived to find out that the bells are signaling the death of their neighbor's servant. There are three remaining items that have yet to be distributed: the house, mule, and the mills. Since the family cannot determine who should get them, the leave it to Schicchi's discretion.

When the notary arrives, Schicchi begins to dictate the new will. He lists the items that each family member has bribed him to include, which delights each one. However, he states that he leaves his house, mill, and a mule to his "good friend, Gianni Schicchi." The family is instantly furious, but they are unable to say a word. Should they speak up, the notary will discover their ploy and void the will. Not only that, the law states that any lying party member will have their hand chopped off. When the new will is notarized and the official leaves, the family erupts into a fuming argument. Schicchi kicks them all out of the house, which now belongs to him. Rinuccio and Lauretta stay behind after Schicchi approved