Considered the greatest Italian opera composer since Verdi, Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) created many of the most popular operas in the repertoire, including Madama Butterfly, La Boheme, Tosca, Manon Lescaut, and Turandot. His well-known gifts for lush melody and rapturous lyricism, along with his strong sense of theater, are amply evident in Il Trittico ("The Triptych"), a series of three highly individual one-act operas patterned after the Parisian Grand Guignol's three-part scheme of horror, tragedy, and farce.
Il Trittico, which premiered at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1918, consists of "Il Tabarro," a somber, near-melodramatic tragedy; "Suor Angelica," a sentimental tragedy with strong melodies and a mystic theme; and "Gianni Schicchi," a delightful comedy, full of wit and vivacity, whose libretto was derived — surprisingly enough — from a few lines in Dante's Inferno. All three works appear in this single volume, reprinted from authoritative early editions.
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When done all together, these three one-act operas and the necessary intermissions between them make for a wearyingly long evening. Unsurprisingly, therefore, they are seldom performed as Puccini intended them. Gianni Schicchi, the lone comedy in Puccini's oeuvre, is the most often seen, with its tale of a lovable rogue (mentioned in Daunt) outwitting a family of rascals for the sake of his daughter--and their money. Il Tabarro (The Cloak) is a powerful and affecting piece of real verso. Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica) is the weakest link of the three with its sticky-sweet view of convent life, but it still has some lovely moments. This score offers all three operas with all the orchestral parts, but no English translation.About the Author:
Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) created La Boheme, Madama Butterfly, Turandot,Tosca, and other beloved operas. He was the most popular opera composer in the world at the time of his death, and his works remain standards of the repertoire.
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