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Puccini's only comic opera. The title character is an historical figure mentioned in Dante's The Inferno. Puccini's scheming, comic subverter, Gianni Schicchi, does leave some hope for the future. Whilst his resourcefulness and cunning at times appear to have suspect motivations, Gianni Schicchi assures the happiness of the lovers, his daughter Lauretta, and Rinuccio. Puccini's comic score includes some of his most dexterous and brilliant writing.
Double bill with Il Tabarro
Giorgetta, the young wife of Michele, a river-barge master, has tired of her husband and of the vagabond life she leads with him. She has fallen in love with a young stevedore. They plan to meet on the barge later, but Michele, alone on the deck that night, unwittingly gives the pre-arranged signal When Giorgetta comes out from the cabin her husband's cloak has already been wrapped around her lovers dead body.
Double bill with Gianni Schicchi
Amongst the most popular of Verdi's operas, La traviata is the work of a master of the musical drama. Its perfumed arias and soaring choruses vividly depict the ravishingly decadent but glamorous world of Parisian high society as the background to a heart rending story of romantic happiness destroyed. Original book called La Dame aux Camelias.
An American naval officer (Pinkerton) 'acquires' a 15 year old Geisha wife during a stay in Japan - but has no intention of staying with her. After a while he returns to the USA and marries his fiancee. Meanwhile, Butterfly waits for him for three years, cut off from her family, religion and culture by being an American wife. And she is now a mother. When he finally returns she is overjoyed, but he brings with him his new wife. Story originally published in a magazine.
Sung in Italian with English surtitles.
Count Almaviva lusts after the delicious Susanna, Figaro's bride to be. The neglected Countess pines for her husband's attentions and, as she tries to make him jealous, love and suspicion abound. Figaro must unravel the threads before he and Susanna can tie the knot. Also performed as Figaro's Wedding and Figaro!. First performed at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 1 May 1786
Sung in English with surtitles.