Puccini Il trittico with three one-act operas directed 2007 by Christina Pezzoli at the Teatro Comunale di Modena. They are:
1. Il tabarro to libretto by Giuseppe Adami. Stars Alberto Mastromarino (Michele), Amarilli Nizza (Giorgetta), Rubens Pelizzari (Luigi), Alessandro Cosentino (Il Tinca), Alessandro Spina (Il Talpa), Annamaria Chiuri (La Frugola), Roberto Carli (Song pedlar), Chiara Moschini and Roberto Carli (Lovers), and Allessandra Cantin (Soprano voice).
2. Suor Angelica to libretto by Giovacchino Forzano. Stars Amarilli Nizza (Suor Angelica), Annamaria Chiuri (Princess), Elisa Fortunati (Abbess), Paola Leveroni (Monitress), Katarina Nikolič (Mistress of the novices), Paola Santucci (Suor Genovieffa), Alice Molinari (Suor Osmina), Camilla Laschi (Suor Dolcina), Alessandra Caruccio (Nursing sister), Alessandra Cantin (a Novice), Paola Leggeri (First Mendicant), Margherita Pistoni (Second Mendicant), Tiziana Tramonti (First Lay Sister), Beatrice Sarti (Second Lay Sister), Dan-I Kuo (First Young Sister), Alice Molinari (Second Young Sister), and Chiara Moschini (Third Young Sister).
3. Gianni Schicchi to libretto by Giovacchino Forzano. Stars Alberto Mastromarino (Gianni Schicchi), Amarilli Nizza (Lauretta), Annamaria Chiuri (Zita), Andrea Giovannini (Rinuccio), Alessandro Cosentino (Gherardo), Tiziana Tramonti (Nella), Grigorij Filippo Calcagno (Gherardino), Maurizio Lo Piccolo (Betto di Signa), Alessandro Spina (Simone), Mirko Quarello (Marco), Katarina Nikolič (La Ciesca), Gian Luca Ricci (Maestro Spinelloccio, doctor), Alessandro Busi (Ser Amantia di Nicolai, notary), Romano Franci (Pinellino, cobbler), and Antonio Manosperti (Guccio, dyer).
Julian Reynolds directs the Orchestra della Fondazione Arturo Toscanini, the Coro Lirico Amadeus---Teatro Comunale di Modena (Chorus Master Stefano Colò) and the Coro di Voci Bianche del Teatro Comunale di Modena (Chorus Master Melitta Lintner). Sets by Giacomo Andrico; costumes by Gianluca Falaschi; lighting by Cesare Accetta. Directed for TV by Loreena Kaufmann. Released 2009, disc has 7.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A
Puccini's Il trittico or Triptych has three one-act operas with two obvious things in common. First, each has a corpse; second, each work is completely different from the others. Il tabarro is opera verismo laden with social criticism; Suor Angelica a work of inspiration with a supernatural miracle; Gianni Schicchi is a boisterous comedy with no redeeming feature except that it's a great way to trick children into watching an opera. This was my first experience with Il trittico, and I'm glad I watched it cold. I was expecting to be bored with the two relatively unknown works leading up to the famous Gianni Schicchi. So I was surprised to find both Il tabarro and Suor Angelica to be completely absorbing. Now I understand why Puccini insisted that all three of these operas should be presented only together on the same program.
I'm also ashamed to admit that before I saw this HDVD, I had never heard of Modena, its opera house, of Cristina Pezzoli, or of Amarilli Nizza. Well, now I have learned there are opera houses all over Italy with rich production traditions. Such a house in a town of 200,000 Italian souls can produce, using 100% Italian signers, a show that can compete with the work of the most famous and best-financed opera companies in the world. This is exactly what Pezzoli pulled off. Every aspect of the music, direction, acting, settings, costumes, and lighting is exemplary. And don't think this was a small task because each opera in this work is short. There are 43 credited roles in this disc, and only three singers appear in all three operas. The three sets have nothing in common. Back stage at Il trittico is going to be a busy place!
These operas here have another thing in common that is not so obvious: Amarilla Nizza sings lead soprano in all three. Il tabarro demands plenty of the female lead, especially in the acting department. Suor Angelica is totally draining in all departments. In Gianni Schicchi the lead lady gets a little rest---all she has to do is nail one of the most famous of all arias ("O mio babbino caro"). Most productions of Il trittico are cast with two or three sopranos. But Nizza handles all the different roles, and she does it so well that I didn't realize until I studied the keep case booklet that I had seen the same soprano three times!
The video, sound, and production work on this disc are excellent. TDK elected not to waste our time with inane extras. It appears that most if not all the singers on on this disc are native speakers of Italian. And guess what---TDK gives us Italian subtitles. Now this is a nice bonus--- a chance to learn some more opera Italian.
Sorry, no decent YouTube clip on this title that came out in the early days of HDVDs and YouTube.