The comic opera Gianni Schicchi is so much more than Puccini's most famous aria »O mio babbino caro«. A short opera and a real jewel in the Italian realistic opera tradition with the composer Giacomo Puccini at the height of his ability.
The story of the opera is derived from a passage in Dante’s Inferno, which mentions, in an unflattering fashion, Gianni Schicchi (who was an actual Florentinein the 14th century) as having been consigned to the eighth circle of hell with other forgers and cheats for disguising himself as Buoso Donati, a recently deceased Florentine aristocrat, in order to obtain Donati’s wealth for himself.
Puccini saw potential for social satire in the story. The action in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi takes place in Donati’s bedroom immediately after his death, as his greedy relatives feign grief and search for his will. The mood shifts to anger when the relatives discover that they have been disinherited. They seek out the clever and resourceful Schicchi to make a counterfeit will. Schicchi, however, turns their scheme against them, bequeathing most of the dead man’s fortune to himself while the relatives, all parties to the crime of forgery, are forced to sit by silently.
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Royal Swedish Orchestra
Royal Swedish Opera Chorus