Gianni Schicchi

Giacomo Puccini

Fast-paced comic opera of hijinks, duplicity and greed. 

Gianni Schicchi (Community Opera)

Based on the opera in one act, part of Il trittico, a collection of three one-act operas including Il tabarro, and Suor Angelica
Libretto by Giovacchino Forzano, revised and updated in a new version by Timothy Knapman
Sung in Italian with English surtitles

First performance:
The Metropolitan Opera, New York, USA, 1918


The Plot        

The Donati family are mourning the death of their patriarch, Buoso, who they believe has left them a vast fortune. Their tears, however, are insincere, and when they learn that Buoso has, in fact, left all his money to a monastery, they become frantic with greed. 

Busso’s duplicitous heirs connive to change the will. Rinuccio, who wishes to marry Lauretta, (Gianni Schicchi’s daughter), suggests that the wily Schicchi will have a solution to the family’s dilemma. Schicchi’s plan is to rewrite the will in the family’s favour. Since no one outside the family knows that Busso is dead, Schicchi will pose as Busso, change the will and then ‘die.’

The family manages to hoodwink both the doctor and the notary into thinking that Schicchi is Buoso, only to be outwitted at the last by Schicchi, who double-crosses them and takes the inheritance for himself.

Background / The Opera

Wexford Festival Opera was founded by local volunteers, and even today, the local community are hugely involved in so many aspects of the festival. This year the community will be part of the performance.

WFO believes that opera has the ability to speak to everyone, and this year, we have developed a new concept in opera performance for Wexford - a Community Opera based on Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.  Local people will take part in a series of skills-building workshops throughout 2023 and, together with artists of the Wexford Factory, will create and present an immersive performance experience of music in a non-theatrical space; of an expanded version of Gianni Schicchi with dialogue. Puccini’s masterpiece score includes one of opera’s most loved arias, ‘O mio babbino caro’.

The much-loved opera will be performed in The Grain Store at Stonebridge, just off Wexford’s Quay front, where the audience will ‘promenade’ and move with the action, experiencing the opera by being a part of it and perhaps recognising themselves in it.  

Puccini at Wexford Festival Opera include:

  • 1971    La Rondine
  • 1980    Edgar     
  • 2023    Gianni Schicchi
  • 2023    Suor Angelica