Il trittico

 

Puccini Il trittico with three one-act operas directed 2011 by Richard Jones at the Royal Opera House. They are:

  1. Il tabarro to libretto by Giuseppe Adami. Stars Lucio Gallo (Michele), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Giorgetta), Aleksandrs Antonenko (Liugi), Alan Oke (Tinca), Jeremy White (Talpa), Irina Mishura (Frugola), Ji-Min Park (Song Seller), Anna Devin and Robert Anthony Gardiner (Lovers). Set design by Ultz; costume design by Nicky Gillibrand; lighting design by D.M. Wood; movement by Sarah Fahie; fight direction by Natalie Dakin.
  2. Suor Angelica to libretto by Giovacchino Forzano. Stars Elena Zilio (Monitress), Melissa Alder and Kate McCarney (Two Lay Sisters), Elizabeth Sikora (Mistress of the Novices), Eryl Royale (Sister Osmina), Anna Devin (Sister Genovieffa), Katy Batho (Novice), Ermonela Jaho (Sister Angelica), Elizabeth Key (Sister Dolcina), Elizabeth Woollett (Nursing Sister), Gillian Webster and Kathleen Wilder (Two Alms Sisters), Irina Mishura (Abbess), Anna Larsson (The Princess), as well as Tamsin Coombs, Kiera Lyness, Renata Skarelyte, and Amy Catt (Nuns). Set deisgn by Miriam Buether; costume design by Nicky Gillibrand; lighting design by D.M. Wood; movement by Sarah Fahie.
  3. Gianni Schicchi to libretto by Giovacchino Forzano. Stars Peter Curtis (Buoso Donati), Gwynne Howell (Simone), Elena Zilio (Zita), Francesco Demuro (Rinuccio), Jeremy White (Betto di Signa), Robert Poulton (Marco), Marie McLaughlin (La Ciesca), Alan Oke (Gherardo), Lisa Anne Robinson (Nella), Filippo Turkheimer (Gherardino),  Lucio Gallo (Gianni Schicchi), Ekaterina Siurina (Lauretta), Henry Waddington (Maestro Spinelloccio), Enrico Fissore (Ser Amantio di Nicolao), Daniel Grice (Pinellino), and John Molloy (Guccio). Associate direction by Benjamin Davis; set design by John Macfarlane; costume design by Nicky Gillibrand; original lighting design by Mimi Jodran Sherin; revival lighting design by D.M. Wood; choreography by Lucy Burge; revival choreography by Sarah Fahie.

Richard Jones directs all productions. Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and the Royal Opera Chorus (Concert Master Peter Manning; Chorus Director Renato Balsadonna). Directed for screen by Francesca Kemp. Released in 2012, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A

Gordon Smith's L'OperaDou Jury gave this title the grade of "A-." Gordon reports: "The 15 member Jury was very enthusiastic about these three, very different works. It is a particularly attractive programme, beginning with the drama of Il Tabarro in its deliberately dingy and oppressive setting, followed by the heartfelt agony of Sister Angelica with her painful secret and finally the comic relief of the scheming [hero of] Gianni Schicchi. The Jury was virtually unanimous in praising the staging, performance and HD production. They were particularly impressed by the way the Royal Opera House has so successfully woven these three very different works into a satisfying whole, giving spectators such a broad palette of emotions to experience in one single evening." Gordon goes on to say, "The diversity of this production inevitably means that different people like different things in varying degrees and so tend to rank everything as a whole slightly lower than they would otherwise." So I will nudge the grade up from "A-" to "A."

We now are lucky to have two A-rated productions of Il trittico in HDVD. Check out also the almost all-Italian version from Teatro Comunale de Modena which comes now in both TDK and Arthaus flavors (Arthaus bought the TDK HDVD titles and has republished them under their own brand). If you can still find the TDK flavor, it has Italian subtitles, which the competition appears to have dropped. If you are trying to improve your Italian, having the Italian subtitles is really neat.

Here's a Royal Opera clip from this production (not sure if this is exactly what's on the disc):

Update on 2013-10-06 by Henry McFadyen Jr.

Gramophone named this title the "Best Opera Recording" for 2013 in its DVD form (page 59 of the Awards 2013 issue).  Richard Fairman states that "Opera on DVD does not come better than this." Sorry, Richard, this statement is pitifully wrong. This opera also comes in a HDVD version that is lot better than what you saw. Please ask your boss for access to a HD TV and Blu-ray player!