Opera Scotland

Gianni Schicchi 1969Teatro Comunale, Florence

Read more about the opera Gianni Schicchi

The Festival opera programme

This three week visit to the 1969 Festival by the opera company from Florence brought a repertoire of largely unfamiliar work, with the popular Verdi and Puccini presented with good casts that justified their inclusion. Two full-length operas were brought, Donizetti's Maria Stuarda as well as Rigoletto. There were two double bills. Gianni Schicchi was paired with a rare Rossini piece, Il signor Bruschino. There were also two little known twentieth century operas, with composers still alive. These were by Malipiero (Sette Canzoni) and Dallapiccola (Il prigioniero).

Scottish Opera's contribution was on the Fringe - a late night double bill at the Gateway. This consisted of Robin Orr's Full Circle and the premiere of a comedy by John Purser, The Undertaker. The Music Theatre Ensemble provided  late night showings including Monteverdi (Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda) and Stravinsky (Renard). The Usher Hall programme included Giulini conducting the Verdi Messa da Requiem.


Gianni Schicchi

This was an excellent traditional production, in handsome medieval sets and costumes, directed by its star, Tito Gobbi. Many others of the supporting cast were distinguished veterans of the Italian opera world. Plinio Clabassi, Flora Rafanelli, Anna di Stasio, Giorgio Giorgetti and the others all gave beautifully sung and sharply-etched cameos of the grasping relatives. The younger generation were represented by Maddalena Bonifaccio's superb Lauretta and Ugo Benelli's irrepressible Rinuccio. And what of Gobbi? In his only Festival role, he naturally dominated his own production. The only quibble has to be his rather overdone mugging as Lauretta sang her heart out clasping his knees. It is surely an ungenerous performer who upstages a young soprano during her big moment.

It has to be said that the effervescence of this staging rather overshadowed the more routine performance of Rossini's Bruschino before the interval, though his early one-act farces are good enough to survive.


Teatro Comunale, Florence at the Edinburgh Festival - 1969

The Florence company brought four programmes - two full-length operas and two double bills of shorter works. The repertoire provided a useful survey of Italian opera from Rossini's time to the recent past, with two of the composers still living.

The six operas were by  Rossini (Il signor Bruschino);  Donizetti (Maria Stuarda);  Verdi (Rigoletto);   Puccini (Gianni Schicchi);   Malipiero (Sette Canzoni);  Dallapiccola (Il prigioniero).

The performance schedule was:

First week, comm 25 Aug:  Mon 25 Maria Stuarda;  Tue 26 Rigoletto;  Wed 27 np;  Thu 28 Maria Stuarda;  Fri 29 Sette Canzoni & Il prigioniero;  Sat 30 Rigoletto.

Second week, comm 1 Sep:  Mon 1 Maria Stuarda;  Tue 2 np;  Wed 3 Rigoletto;  Thu 4 Il signor Bruschino & Gianni Schicchi;  Fri 5 Sette Canzoni Il prigioniero;  Sat 6 Il signor Bruschino & Gianni Schicchi.

Third week, comm 8 Sep:  Mon 8 Maria Stuarda;  Tue 9 Rigoletto;  Wed 10 Il signor Bruschino & Gianni Schicchi;  Thu 11 np;  Fri 12 Il signor Bruschino & Gianni Schicchi;  Sat 13 Rigoletto.

Performance Cast

Zita a cousin of Buoso, aged sixty

Flora Rafanelli

Rinuccio Zita's nephew, aged twenty-four

Ugo Benelli

Gherardo Buoso's nephew, aged forty

Dino Formichini

Nella Gherardo's wife, aged thirty-four

Giuliana Matteini

Gherardino Gherardo's son, aged seven

Carlo Formichini

Betto di Signa a cousin, age unknown

Graziano del Vivo

Simone a cousin, aged seventy

Plinio Clabassi

Marco Betto's son, aged forty-five

Giorgio Giorgetti

La Ciesca Marco's wife, aged thirty-eight

Anna di Stasio

Gianni Schicchi aged fifty-one

Tito Gobbi

Lauretta Schicchi's daughter, aged twenty-one

Maddalena Bonifaccio

Maestro Spinelloccio a doctor

Augusto Frati

Ser Amantio di Nicolao a notary

Paolo Pedani

Pinellino a cobbler

Mario Frosini

Guccio a dyer

Valiano Natali

Performance DatesGianni Schicchi 1969

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

4 Sep, 19.30 6 Sep, 19.30 10 Sep, 19.30 12 Sep, 19.30

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2024

Site by SiteBuddha