Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast: Il Trittico
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Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast: Il Trittico 

Saturday, December 8, 2018 12:30 p.m. (ET)

Broadcast Trittico hdl 1218
Buoso Donati’s family reads his will in Gianni Schicchi at the Met
© Beth Bergman
The 2018–19 Metropolitan Opera broadcast season is sponsored by 
Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®,
with generous long-term support from The Annenberg Foundation,
The Neubauer Family Foundation, The Vincent A. Stabile Endowment for Broadcast Media,
and through contributions from listeners worldwide.

Il Trittico  

Music by GIACOMO PUCCINI
Libretto by GIUSEPPE ADAMI (Il Tabarro)
and GIOVACCHINO FORZANO  
(Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi) 
THE CAST   
(in order of vocal appearance)
   
IL TABARRO
 
Giorgetta  soprano, AMBER WAGNER 
Michele  baritone, GEORGE GAGNIDZE 
Luigi  tenor, MARCELO ÁLVAREZ 
Tinca  tenor, TONY STEVENSON 
Talpa  bass-baritone, MAURIZIO MURARO 
Song Seller  tenor, BRIAN MICHAEL MOORE 
Frugola  mezzo-soprano, STEPHANIE BLYTHE 
Young Lovers  soprano, ASHLEY EMERSON 
  tenor, YI LI 
   
SUOR ANGELICA
 
Sister  Angelica  soprano, KRISTINE OPOLAIS 
Monitor  mezzo-soprano, MARYANN McCORMICK 
Lay Sisters  soprano, STACEY TAPPAN 
  mezzo-soprano, EDYTA KULCZAK 
Mistress of Novices  mezzo-soprano, JANE SHAULIS 
Sister Osmina  soprano, ROSALIE SULLIVAN 
Sister Genovieffa  soprano, MAUREEN McKAY 
Novices  soprano, JESSICA FASELT 
  mezzo-soprano, SANDRA PIQUES EDDY 
Sister Dolcina  soprano, SHARON AZRIELI 
Nursing Sister  mezzo-soprano, MEGAN MARINO 
Alms Collectors   soprano, LEAH HAWKINS 
  soprano, CASSANDRA ZOÉ VELASCO 
Abbess  mezzo-soprano, LINDSAY AMMANN 
Princess  mezzo-soprano, STEPHANIE BLYTHE 
Sister Lucilla  mezzo-soprano, ELIZABETH BROOKS 
  
GIANNI SCHICCHI
 
Zita  mezzo-soprano, STEPHANIE BLYTHE  
Simone  bass-baritone, MAURIZIO MURARO 
Rinuccio  tenor, ATALLA AYAN 
Ciesca   mezzo-soprano, LINDSAY AMMANN 
Marco  baritone, JEFF MATTSEY 
Nella  soprano, GABRIELLA REYES 
Gherardo  tenor, TONY STEVENSON 
Betto  bass-baritone, PATRICK CARFIZZI 
Gherardino  treble, TBA 
Gianni Schicchi  tenor, PLÁCIDO DOMINGO 
Lauretta  soprano, KRISTINA MKHITARYAN 
Spinelloccio  bass, KEVIN BURDETTE 
Amantio  bass, PHILIP COKORINOS 
Pinellino  bass, SCOTT CONNER 
Guccio  bass, CHRISTIAN ZAREMBA 
  
Conducted by BERTRAND DE BILLY

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
The Metropolitan Opera Chorus
The Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus

Production: Jack O’Brien
Set designer: Douglas W. Schmidt
Costume designer: Jess Goldstein
Lighting designers: Jules Fisher, Peggy Eisenhauer
Revival stage directors:
Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica: J. Knighten Smit;
Gianni Schicchi: Gregory Keller
Chorus master: Donald Palumbo
Musical preparation: Donna Racik, Linda Hall, Gareth Morrell, Bradley Moore, Zalman Kelber
Assistant stage directors:
Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica: Gregory Keller, Daniel Rigazzi; Gianni Schicchi: Daniel Rigazzi, J. Knighten Smit
Children’s chorus director: Anthony Piccolo
Prompter: Donna Racik
Stage band conductor: Gregory Buchalter
Italian coach: Hemdi Kfir

Production a gift of Karen and Kevin Kennedy

Additional funding from the
Gramma Fisher Foundation, Marshalltown, Iowa, The Annenberg Foundation, Hermione Foundation,
Mr. and Mrs. William R. Miller, and
M. Beverly and Robert G. Bartner

Host: Mary Jo Heath
Commentator: Ira Siff
Music producer: Jay David Saks
Producers: Ellen Keel, John Bischoff,
William Berger

Executive producers: Mia Bongiovanni, Elena Park 
THE SCENES  
Timings (ET) 
  (Europe, 19th century)  
IL TABARRO  A barge on the Seine  12:30–1:27
SUOR ANGELICA  A convent, Tuscany 2:05–2:59
GIANNI SCHICCHI  A bedroom, Florence 3:32–4:28
 

THE STORY 

IL TABARRO. Paris, 1927. Giorgetta, the young wife of the barge-owner Michele, is having an affair with the deckhand Luigi. At the end of a day’s work, she offers wine to him and the two other stevedores, Tinca and Talpa. They begin a playful dance, which is interrupted by Michele. Giorgetta asks him why he seems so troubled, but he remains silent. Talpa’s wife, Frugola, arrives to take him home. When Tinca claims he loves nothing more than to drink, Luigi suddenly blurts out that drink seems to be the only way to cope with their bleak existence (“Hai ben ragione”). Frugola dreams of a little house in the country and Giorgetta wishes she could leave the barge for a happier life. She and Luigi consider the beauty of the city (Duet: “È ben altro il mio sogno”). Michele appears from the cabin and Luigi, who can’t bear to see Giorgetta with her husband, asks to be left in Rouen on the next trip out. Michele dissuades him, arguing that there will be no work there. Giorgetta and Luigi arrange to meet later that evening; she will light a match once Michele has gone to sleep. Luigi goes off and Michele again comes on deck. He tries to evoke Giorgetta’s past love for him by recalling happier days before the death of their infant child a year earlier, but she rejects him. Alone, Michele expresses his suspicions that she is in love with another man (“Nulla! Silenzio!”). He settles down on the deck and lights his pipe. Seeing the lit match from a distance, Luigi rushes on board believing it is Giorgetta’s signal. Michele grabs him and forces him to confess his love for Giorgetta, then strangles him and conceals the body under his cloak. Giorgetta reappears on deck to apologize to Michele, who throws open his cloak exposing Luigi’s dead body.

SUOR ANGELICA. Tuscany, 1938. Banished to live in a convent after having an illegitimate child, Sister Angelica has not heard from her family in seven years. Finally a visitor is announced: it is Angelica’s aunt, the princess. Rejecting Angelica’s gestures of affection, she explains that when Angelica’s parents died, she was made guardian of both her and her younger sister. The sister is to be married, and the princess demands Angelica sign her share of the inheritance over to her. Crushed by her aunt’s cruelty, Angelica asks about her little son. The princess coldly tells her that he died two years earlier. The devastated Angelica signs the document, and the princess leaves. Angelica grieves that her child died without her mother by her side (“Senza mamma”). She drinks poison, then suddenly realizes that suicide is a mortal sin. Praying for forgiveness, she dies with a vision of her son greeting her in heaven.

GIANNI SCHICCHI. Florence, Italy, 1959. The greedy relatives of the wealthy Buoso Donati discover that the deceased has left his fortune to the church. The young Rinuccio suggests that Gianni Schicchi, a shrewd, self-made man and the father of his girlfriend, Lauretta, can help them. Schicchi appears with his daughter. Disgusted by the hypocrisy and avarice of the aristocratic family, he is about to leave but persuaded to stay by Lauretta who proclaims her intention to marry Rinuccio (“O mio babbino caro”). Reading the will, Schicchi devises a plan to impersonate the dead man. The relatives send for the notary and Schicchi, wearing Buoso’s nightshirt and cap, from his sickbed dictates a new will, in which he leaves the greater part of the estate, including the house they are in, to his “dear friend Gianni Schicchi.” The relatives are furious, and steal what they can from the house, chased out by Schicchi, who remains behind with Lauretta and Rinuccio. Turning to the audience, he points out how happy his fraud has made the young lovers and pleads that he not be judged too harshly. 

THE BACKGROUND 

Il Trittico had its world premiere at the Metropolitan Opera on December 14, 1918, with Roberto Moranzoni conducting Richard Ordynski's production. The only Trittico principal to do "triple duty" at the premiere was Chicago-born soprano Marie Tiffany, who sang Nella in Schicchi, a Lay Sister in Suor Angelica and one of the lovers in Il Tabarro.

The first of the Trittico operas to receive a second production at the Met was Gianni Schicchi, when Wilhelm von Wymetal's new staging, paired with a revival of Pa-gliacci, was unveiled at a 1926 matinée. In 1952, the Met's 1926 sets by Joseph Novak were revised by designer Horace Armistead for a Schicchi that remained in service until 1958. The Met's next brand-new Schicchi arrived in 1974, when a new production by Fabrizio Melano had its premiere, paired with the company premiere of Bluebeard's Castle.

The only other Trittico opera to receive a new Met production outside a presentation of the complete trio is Il Tabarro, which was offered in a new staging by Dino Yannopoulos for four performances in the 1945-46 season, sharing the bill with Don Pasquale.

In 1975, Melano's Gianni Schicchi staging was joined by the director's new productions of Il Tabarro and Suor Angelica in the Met's first performances of the complete Il Trittico since 1920. The stars aloft included Teresa Kubiak (Giorgetta), Gilda Cruz-Romo (Suor Angelica) and Cornell MacNeil (Michele in Il Tabarro and Schicchi). Lili Chookasian sang the mezzo leads in all three operas - Frugola, La Principessa and Zita. Later that season, Renata Scotto took on all three heroines at Trittico performances in New York and on tour. In 1981, Scotto repeated her Trittico hat trick, with James Levine conducting. Levine also led the 1989 Trittico performances in which Teresa Stratas sang the leading soprano roles in all three operas.

The Met's new production, directed by Jack O'Brien, had its premiere on April 20, 2007.

WHAT TO READ AND HEAR 

Charles Osborne's The Complete Operas of Puccini: A Critical Guide (DaCapo) and William Berger's Puccini Without Excuses (Vintage) are both useful introductions to the composer and his work; complete opera novices will probably be more comfortable with the Berger book. John Ciardi's translation of Dante's Divine Comedy is available in paperback (NAL Trade).

On CD, Maria Guleghina is Il Tabarro's Giorgetta in a starry Il Trittico from EMI, paced by Antonio Pappano. Richard Bonynge's Suor Angelica is beautifully conducted, with Joan Sutherland surprisingly effective in the title role (Decca). EMI's 1958 Gianni Schicchi features Tito Gobbi's deliciously ripe schemer and Victoria de los Angeles's poised Lauretta.

On DVD, a La Scala staging of the complete Il Trittico operas is available on Kultur, with Gianandrea Gavazzeni conducting Rosalind Plowright (Suor Angelica), Piero Cappuccilli (Michele) and Juan Pons (Schicchi). A 1994 Met revival of Il Tabarro, paired with Pagliacci, gathers James Levine, Plácido Domingo (Luigi), Teresa Stratas (Giorgetta) and Juan Pons (Michele) (DG). spacer 



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