Il Trittico by Puccini @Metropolitan Opera, New York
November 23 - December 15
Jack O’Brien’s epic production of Puccini’s triple bill features first-class casting: tenor Marcelo Álvarez and soprano Amber Wagner are the illicit lovers of Il Tabarro; soprano Kristine Opolais sings the shattering title role of Suor Angelica, and the ageless Plácido Domingo takes an unusual comedic turn in the baritone title role of Gianni Schicchi. The performances mark the centennial of the work’s world premiere at the Met. Bertrand de Billy conducts.
Puccini’s longest and most ambitious evening of theater, Il Trittico is a triptych of one-act operas that together present a unique overview of the human experience. Taking a cue from Dante’s Divine Comedy and its three-part journey from desperation to light, Il Trittico offers a modern glimpse at ordinary people striving for happiness. Shortly after the work’s world premiere at the Met, opera companies began producing the individual operas in combination with short works by other composers, but the full evening as Puccini intended it is a profound and refreshing experience from one of opera’s most popular composers.
Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) was immensely popular in his own lifetime, and his mature works continue to form the foundation of almost every opera company in the world. His operas are celebrated for their mastery of detail, sensitivity to everyday subjects, copious melody, and economy of expression. Giuseppe Adami (1878–1946) provided Puccini with the libretto for La Rondine and Il Tabarro and would later work with him on Turandot. Giovacchino Forzano (1884–1970) was a stage director and playwright as well as a prolific librettist. His libretti for Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi are original creations.
Il Tabarro begins among laborers on the Seine River in Paris. The bleak lives depicted form an implicit critique of contemporary reality. Suor Angelica takes place entirely within an austere convent. Gianni Schicchi is set in Florence, cradle of ideas and urban testament to the power of human creativity. In this production, the three operas are set in three different decades of the 20th century.
Photo by Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera
PRODUCTION – Jack O’Brien
SET DESIGNER – Douglas W. Schmidt
COSTUME DESIGNER – Jess Goldstein
LIGHTING DESIGNERS – Jules Fisher, Peggy Eisenhauer
REVIVAL STAGE DIRECTOR – J. Knighten Smit, Gregory Keller
CONDUCTOR – Bertrand de Billy
GIORGETTA – Amber Wagner / Tatiana Melnychenko
FRUGOLA – Stephanie Blythe
LUIGI – Marcelo Álvarez
MICHELE – George Gagnidze / Lucio Gallo
TALPA – Maurizio Muraro
SUOR ANGELICA – Kristine Opolais / Elena Stikhina
SISTER GENOVIEFFA – Maureen McKay
LA PRINCIPESSA – Stephanie Blythe
LAURETTA – Kristina Mkhitaryan
ZITA – Stephanie Blythe
RINUCCIO – Atalla Ayan
GIANNI SCHICCHI – Plácido Domingo
SIMONE – Maurizio Muraro