In cooperation with the Teatro Communale in Modena and Italian Television RAI, Arthaus presents “Il trittico” (The Triptych) – Puccini’s collection of three one-act operas. With two leading Italian singers in the main roles – soprano Amarilli Nizza sings “Giorgetta”, “Suor Angelica” and “Lauretta” and baritone Alberto Mastromarino sings “Michele” and “Gianni Schicchi” – this new staging by Cristina Pezzoli sees all three operas performed together as the composer intended. Unfortunately, nowadays the operas, which superficially seem unrelated, are often separated with only one or two pieces of the trio performed in an evening or even paired with another one-act opera by a different composer – an arrangement that Puccini despised. This DVD presents all three as one piece of art.
The Triptych of “Il tabarro”, “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi” received its world premiere at the Metropolitan Opera on December 14, 1918. Puccini’s creation of three one-act operas during World War I was a logical consequence of a life’s opera-making that was dedicated not so much to finding the right libretto to set, but rather to finding the right feeling in a dramatic subject to call forth music. As a whole, “Il trittico” is well balanced. “Il tabarro”, the first work, is dark and brooding, full of the violence and grit associated with verismo opera. “Suor Angelica”, the second, was Puccini‘s personal favourite – nowadays, nevertheless, it is usually omitted if only two of the acts are performed. It is an uplifting tale of religious redemption. “Gianni Schicchi”, the third act, is the most popular, a comedic farce full of greed and conniving.