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After Buoso Donati—the patriarch of a Florentine family—dies of old age, his remaining relatives are more interested in getting paid than in paying their respects. They hire local schemer Gianni Schicchi to sort out the estate, but get much more than they bargained for with the quick-thinking and enterprising Schicchi.
Staged by British theatre director Amy Lane, this lighthearted, brilliantly paced comedy stars rising South Korean soprano Hera Hyesang Park alongside baritone Roland Wood. The famous one-act opera features some of Puccini’s most memorable music, including the show-stopper soprano aria, “O mio babbino caro”.
Cast & Creative Team
Gianni Schicchi: Roland Wood
Lauretta: Hera Hyesang Park
Rinuccio: Andrew Haji
Zita: Megan Latham
Gherardo: David Curry
Nella: Midori Marsh
Betto di Signa: Vartan Gabrielian
Simone: Thomas Goerz
Marco: Jonah Spungin
La Ciesca: Jamie Groote
Maestro Spinelloccio: Doug MacNaughton
Ser Amantio di Nicolao: Peter Barrett
Pinellino: Justin Welsh
Guccio: Alex Halliday
Gherardina: Olivia Pady, CCOC*
Buoso Donati: Larry Mannell
Conductor: Jader Bignamini
Director: Amy Lane
Set & Costume Designer: Antony McDonald
Lighting Designer: Charlie Morgan Jones
Video Designer: Alexander Gunnarsson
Film Director: Taylor Long
With the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra
*Canadian Children's Opera Company
Executive Director: Katherine Semcesen
Music Director: Teri Dunn
Members of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company appear in all Canadian Opera Company productions requiring children’s voices. Founded in 1968, the CCOC is the only permanent children’s opera company in Canada, providing musical and dramatic training to hundreds of children and youth aged 4-18. It specializes in the development and production of operatic and choral repertoire performed by children. Auditions can be arranged through the CCOC website: canadianchildrensopera.com
Buoso Donati's bedroom; Florence
Buoso Donati’s family is gathered around the bed where he lies dead. A rumour circulates that Donati has left his fortune to a monastery, and the family’s only hope is to find Donati’s will before a lawyer does. They start hunting, turning the room upside down.
Rinuccio hopes that some of the money will allow him to marry Lauretta, the dowry-less daughter of Gianni Schicchi. Feeling optimistic, he sends Gherardino to fetch Schicchi and his daughter.
Zita opens the will and discovers that Donati has indeed left his fortune to the Church. Rinuccio declares that the only person who can help is Gianni Schicchi, who, though he’s a newcomer to Florence and not of their class, is a crafty, astute joker who might have a solution.
Schicchi enters and agrees to try and help. As nobody outside the family – not even the servants – knows that Donati is dead, Schicchi sends Lauretta out to feed the birds while he poses as the dead man, now somewhat recovered. Spinelloccio, the doctor, visits and is assured that his patient is better. Schicchi then sends Rinuccio for a notary to rewrite Donati’s will.
The relatives argue over how to divide the fortune, but finally agree to leave it to Schicchi’s judgment. They individually make secret offers to him to benefit themselves, and Schicchi reminds them all that it is forbidden by law to interfere in the creation of a will.
Rinuccio returns with the notary and two witnesses. Schicchi, as Donati, bequeaths a tiny sum to the monks, equal money and holdings to the relatives, but finally leaves the best mule, the house in Florence and his mills to “my dear friend, Gianni Schicchi.”
The relatives are outraged but silenced. When the notary leaves, they attack Schicchi and plunder the house before being angrily expelled by him. Seeing Rinuccio and Lauretta, unaware of the chaos and blissfully happy now that they can marry, Schicchi asks the audience if Donati’s money could have had a better purpose.