Puccini’s only comedy and one of the true laugh out loud operas in the repertoire, Gianni Schicchi (pronounced Johnny Skee-ky) at FGO is based on real people and a real incident. The plot follows the greedy Donati Family whose rich Uncle Buoso has died, leaving his wealth to the church. The snobbish Donatis must employ the wily lawyer Gianni Schicchi for help, and he doesn’t hesitate to help himself as well. It also features one of opera’s most beloved melodies, O Mio Babbino Caro, heard in everything from films to the Grand Theft Auto video games. Puccini conceived Gianni Schicchi as the third of a special trio of one-acts meant to be performed in a single evening. It has become traditional to pair it instead with a one-act from another composer. One day as Michael Ching was chatting with colleagues, he came up with the idea of a sequel to the comedy classic, and composed Buoso’s Ghost (pronounced Bwo-zo). In it, we discover how Uncle Buoso died and see Schicchi once again matching wits with The Donatis. The melodic score is full of clever musical allusions; Jan 28-31: ArshtCenter.org. Feb. 9-11: BrowardCenter.org; FGO.org.
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