PUCCINI: Gianni Schicchi — La Scala 2008

Music composed by Giacomo Puccini. Libretto by Giovacchino Forzano after
lines 43-45 of Canto XXX of Dante’s Inferno.

First Performance: 14 December 1918, Metropolitan Opera
House, New York.

Principal Roles:
Gianni Schicchi (aged 50) Baritone
Lauretta, his daughter (aged 21) Soprano
Zita, cousin of Buoso Donati (aged 60) Contralto
Rinuccio, Zita’s nephew (aged 24) Tenor
Gherardo, Buoso’s nephew (aged 40) Tenor
Nella, Gherardo’s wife (aged 34) Soprano
Gherardino, their son (aged 7) Contralto
Betto di Signa, Buoso’s brother-in-law (of uncertain age) Bass
Simone, cousin of Buoso (aged 70) Bass
Marco, Simone’s son (aged 45) Baritone
La Ciesca, Marco’s wife (aged 38) Mezzo-Soprano
Maestro Spinelloccio, a doctor Bass
Ser Amantio di Nicolao, a notary Baritone
Pinellino, a cobbler Bass
Guccio, a dyer Bass

Setting: Florence, 1299


Buoso Donati has died in bed. His relatives mourn melodramatically, until
they hear the rumor that he has left all his money to the local monastery.
They frantically search for the will. Rinuccio finds it, but refuses to
release it to his aunt Zita until she agrees to his terms. If the will is
favorable to them, she must allow him to marry Schicchi’s daughter, Lauretta.
Schicchi is looked down on by the Donati family since he is a relatively new
arrival in Florence. Zita consents (she does not care whom Rinuccio marries
so long as the will leaves them rich), and reads the will, as Rinuccio
quietly sends for Schicchi. When the will confirms the rumor, everyone is
furious. They refuse to allow Rinuccio to marry, and angrily turn down his
suggestion that Schicchi, who is known for his clever schemes, can aid

Schicchi and Lauretta arrive to a cold reception. Schicchi, seeing how
downcast the relatives are, uncharitably assumes that Donati must be better.
He is informed otherwise, and attempts to console the relatives by mentioning
their inheritances. Zita, touched to the quick by Schicchi’s condolences,
angrily explains the situation, and refuses to hear of a marriage. Rinuccio
begs Schicchi to help. However, Schicchi, angered by his reception, refuses
to help such people. He is persuaded to try by his daughter (O mio babbino
caro). Schicchi reads the will, and proclaims that nothing can be done. But
then, he has a thought, and Schicchi sends his daughter away so that she may
be innocent of the knowledge of what he will suggest. Schicchi first orders
the body to be moved to another room, and tells the women to make up the bed.
He ensures that no one else knows of the death — but before he can explain,
Donati’s doctor arrives. The doctor is prevented from entering by the
relatives, while Schicchi imitates Donati’s voice, telling the doctor that
Donati is feeling better. The doctor departs, praising his own skill.
Schicchi explains: Schicchi will impersonate Donati and dictate a new

Rinuccio goes to get the notary. The relatives agree on the division of
the property, except for Donati’s mule (the best in Tuscany), mills, and
house. They agree to let Schicchi decide who will inherit those items, but,
one by one, they return to promise him a reward if he selects that person.
Schicchi agrees to each bribe — but then reminds all of the penalty for
forgery — loss of a hand and permanent exile from Florence. The notary
arrives, with the witnesses. Schicchi dictates a very modest funeral, a
minuscule sum to the monastery, and the agreed-upon division, as the
relatives speak approvingly. But one by one, Schicchi grants the mule, mills,
and house to himself, to the relatives’ outrage. After the notary leaves, he
throws everyone out, and they are helpless to do anything except grab what
they can on the way out the door. Now that Schicchi can give Lauretta a
dowry, there is no obstacle to her marriage to Rinuccio. The lovers embrace,
as Schicchi watches, moved. Schicchi turns to the audience and asks if this
was not a fine use of Donati’s money. He then requests the audience’s
indulgence, even if he did not receive Dante’s, pleading extenuating

[Synopsis Source: Wikipedia]

here for the complete libretti of Il trittico

image_description=G. Puccini: Gianni Schicchi
first_audio_name=Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924): Gianni Schicchi
product_title=Giacomo Puccini: Gianni Schicchi
product_by=Gianni Schicchi: Leo Nucci; Lauretta: Nino Machaidze; Zita: Cinzia De Mola; Rinuccio: Vittorio Grigolo; Gherardo: Luca Casalin; Nella: Francesca Sassu; Gherardino: Gabriele Bonini; Betto di Signa: Elia Fabbian; Simone: Mario Luperi; Marco: Vincenzo Taormina; La Ciesca: Tiziana Tramonti; Mastro Spinelloccio: Giancarlo Boldrini; Ser Amantio di Nicolao: Andrea Snarski; Pinellino: Sergio Vitale; Guccio: Chae Jun Lim. Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala. Riccardo Chailly, conducting. Live performance: 13 March 2008, Milan.