Opera Scotland

Gianni Schicchi 2011English Touring Opera

Read more about the opera Gianni Schicchi

As might have been expected from a director whose speciality was movement, this turned out to be a visually frenetic production, with lots of people dashing about the stage, all beautifully handled, with no accidents on the tiny Perth stage, especially during the hunt for and reading of the will. The update from 1299 to World War I period added little other than differentiation of character by costume (including flashy suit for the charlatan medic and khaki battle-dress for Rinuccio). Buoso's curtained four-poster, essential for the plot, became a bit incongruous. Burning braziers erupted at the end to symbolise the hellfire awaiting Schicchi in the afterlife - but wasn't Dante's idea of Hell cold, windy and wet?

In general, the performance was superb, led by Richard Mosley-Evans as an excellent Schicchi. He even improved on Tito Gobbi's otherwise wonderful 1969 performance by keeping still during Lauretta's plea (Gobbi mugged outrageously at this point in a very distracting manner). Paula Sides sang that, and the rest of her role, with a natural ease which was very enjoyable, and Ashley Catling's Rinuccio also came over strongly. Of the relations, Clarissa Meek was a typically dragon-like Zita (nicely contrasted with her Frugola in Tabarro earlier in the evening), and Arwel Huw Morgan an unusually doddery Simone.

While it was perhaps a shame that ETO could only include two of Puccini's original trio of operas, they still made a satisfying double bill. Perhaps in a couple of years they may be able to return with Suor Angelica, coupled with another contrasting one-act piece by Ravel or Massenet.

Performance Cast

Zita a cousin of Buoso, aged sixty

Clarissa Meek

Rinuccio Zita's nephew, aged twenty-four

Ashley Catling

Gherardo Buoso's nephew, aged forty

Andrew Glover

Nella Gherardo's wife, aged thirty-four

Jacqueline Varsey

Betto di Signa a cousin, age unknown

Aidan Smith

Simone a cousin, aged seventy

Arwel Huw Morgan

Marco Betto's son, aged forty-five

Nicholas Merryweather

La Ciesca Marco's wife, aged thirty-eight

Lisa Anne Robinson

Gianni Schicchi aged fifty-one

Richard Mosley-Evans

Lauretta Schicchi's daughter, aged twenty-one

Paula Sides

Maestro Spinelloccio a doctor

Maciek O'Shea

Ser Amantio di Nicolao a notary

Stuart Haycock

Pinellino a cobbler

Philip Spendley

Guccio a dyer

Henry Grant-Kerswell

Performance DatesGianni Schicchi 2011

Map List

Perth Theatre | Perth

21 May, 19.30

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