Last night we went to the College of Charleston to see Gianni Schicchi, Puccini’s one act comic opera. The idea that children can not enjoy opera is beyond me now. We did not have prep time for this event, yet the children found the story easy to follow and discussed the merits of the composer and the acting as well as contrasting it with Samson and Delilah, which we saw about a month ago.
The cast of Gianni Schicchi, one of Pucchini’s last operas, is large. Zita is played by Valerie Osborn (her understudy is Janelle Lentz); Simone’s part is rendered by Nathan Matticks; Rinuccio is acted by Jonathan White; Ciesca is performed by Kathleen Perry (her understudy is Kori Miller); Marco is played by Jordan Boyd (understudy is Eric Dempsey); Nella is impersonated by Lewis Carraway (his understudy is Andrea Horath); Gherado is preformed by Paul Runyan; Betto is acted by Yun Hao Jiang (his understudy is Joseph Ford); Gherardino is played by Scott Templeton. These characters are all members of the dead man, Buoso Donati’s family. Gianni Schicchi is portrayed by Daniel Lentz; Gianni’s daughter, Lauretta is impersonated by Carina Gerscovich (her understudy is Elise Darrow). The doctor, Spinelloccio is preformed by Garrett Wilson. The last three characters are the Notary played by Jared Jones, and the two wittnesses: Pinellino portrayed by Garrett Wilson and Guccio acted by Anthony Massarotto.
Buoso, the wealthiest member of the Donati family, has died and everyone is fake crying. One of the family members, Gherardo, enters and says that the rumor around town is that all the wealth has gone to the monks. The family begins trumbling through the house looking for the will. They get excited when they think they find it; but no. Then finally Rinuccio finds it. He refuses to hand it over until he is assured that he can marry the poor Loretta, his love. The family finally relents, but only if the family gets the money. Zita opens the will. Simone shuffles over and light funerary candles hopefully for Buoso’s honor. But it does no good. They find out the rumor is true and the monk will be wealthy. (My opinion Buoso knew his family well and he chose not to give his wealth to the selfish part of the family.) Now Rinuccio can not marry his love. He is devastated.
Rinuccio insists that Loretta’s father Gianni can help them come up with a scam to get the money. The family is not in favor of the idea. He convinces them finally and Gianni and Loretta come to the house. The family is fake crying again, but Gianni sees that they are just acting. The family admits their true sorrow and asks him to help come up with a scam. Gianni initially refuses, but Loretta sings a beautiful Aria begging her father to do this so she can marry her love. He looks at the will and announces that it can’t be done. His daughter and Rinuccio begin to sing sadly. Gianni tries to figure out a scam again. But again he can’t break the will. The family begins to argue. Gianni has an idea. He begins by asking if anyone outside of the family knows of the death of Buoso.
Tomorrow BR will finish this tale.