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Il trittico

on October 13, 2023
This is the page for the performance on October 13, 2023.
If you would like to attend a performance of this production, you will find further dates below.
Music Giacomo Puccini Text Giuseppe Adami & Giovacchino Forzano

Future dates

24. February 2024
19.00 - 22.45
2 intermissions
Buy tickets Werkeinführung 30 Minuten vor der Vorstellung im Gustav Mahler-Saal

Cast 13.10.2023

Il tabarro

Conductor Philippe Jordan
Production Tatjana Gürbaca
Stage Design Henrik Ahr
Costume Design Silke Willrett
Lighting Design Stefan Bolliger
Assistant costume designer Carl-Christian Andresen

Suor Angelica

Assistant costume designer Carl-Christian Andresen
Schwester Angelica Eleonora Buratto
Die Fürstin Michaela Schuster
Die Äbtissin Monika Bohinec
Die Lehrmeisterin der Novizen Patricia Nolz
Die Schwester Eiferin Daria Sushkova
Schwester Genovieffa Florina Ilie
Die Schwester Pflegerin Isabel Signoret
1. Almosensucherin Anna Bondarenko
Eine Novizin Antigoni Chalkia
1. Laienschwester Svenja Kallweit
2. Laienschwester Arina Holecek

Gianni Schicchi

Gianni Schicchi Ambrogio Maestri
Lauretta, seine Tochter Serena Sáenz
Zita, Base des Buoso Michaela Schuster
Rinuccio, Neffe der Zita Bogdan Volkov
Gherardo, Neffe des Buoso Andrea Giovannini
Nella, seine Frau Anna Bondarenko
Gherardino, sein Sohn Martin Mateo-Seebacher


Il tabarro is a dark marital drama, set in the world of the Seine skippers. The couple, Michele and Giorgetta, are divided by grief for their dead child, and Giorgetta’s affair with the labourer Luigi ends in tragedy.

Puccini composed the first part relatively quickly, but the search for the two tinte which he felt should follow the first took on almost epic dimensions. In the end, it took a full 18 years from the first idea to the New York premiere. Suor Angelica, the »sentimental« story, which Giovacchino Forzano wrote the libretto for, tells of the suffering of the protagonist, a nun who finds  the memory of her son – the result of a »slip« which brought her to the convent – until she is deprived of this support. For the comical third part, Gianni Schicchi, Forzano drew on a brief episode from Dante’s Inferno. To get the inheritance of the wealthy Florentine Buoso Donati, his relatives persuade Gianni Schicchi to pose as the dying Buoso and appear to dictate a will in their favour.

Each of the pieces has its own fascinating musical originality. There is the relentless, flowing river motif in Il tabarro, interrupted by Puccini’s incomparable realisms, ships’ sirens, honking vehicles, little incidental scenes. The deceptive peace of the convent conversation in Suor Angelica, which is continued with incredible dramatic musical precision to the culmination (embodied in »Senza mamma«, one of the best-known and most moving arias in opera history).


Program booklet (2,50€)



Michele’s barge is lying at anchor in a bend in the Seine in Paris. The stevedores unload the last goods, while Michele looks at the sunset. Michele’s wife Gior­ getta offers the labourers refreshments. The young labourer Luigi calls an organ grinder over. Giorgetta dances with the tippler Tinca, then with Luigi. Michele interrupts the cheerful scene. The relationship between him and his much youn­ ger wife is tense. He tells Giorgetta he wants to keep the older labourer Talpa and Tinca, as well as Luigi, who would otherwise starve. Talpa’s wife Frugola comes to fetch her husband. She dreams of spending her declining days in a little house in the country. Giorgetta on the other hand enthuses about the Paris district of Belleville, where she and Luigi come from. When all the others have gone, Giorgetta calls Luigi over. The two are lovers. They agree to meet at midnight, Giorgetta will light a match as a sign.

Michele accuses Giorgetta of not loving him any more. He re­ minds her of the time they were happy, which ended when their child died. The symbol of this happiness is Michele’s cloak, which he sheltered his little family under. Giorgetta leaves Mi­ chele alone with his dark thoughts. He’s convinced that she’s having an affair, and considers who her lover could be. When he lights his pipe, Luigi, who’s been waiting, thinks the match is the sign he agreed with Giorgetta, and enters the barge. Pres­ sed by Michele, Luigi confesses his love for Giorgetta. Michele kills him. He wraps the corpse in his cloak. Giorgetta comes to apologize to Michele. Michele opens his cloak, revealing Luigi’s dead body.


A courtyard inside a nunnery. After evening mass, the Monitress assigns pe­ nance to a few sisters, while the others gather for recreation. When the conver­ sation passes to a dead sister, Suor Angelica declares that death is a good life as it is free of desires. The sisters argue over whether they are allowed earthly desires. Most deny having any, including Suor Angelica. However, the sisters know that Angelica is waiting eagerly for news of her family. Rumour has it that Angelica comes from a rich, noble family and has been sent to the convent as a punishment. One sister has been stung by a wasp. Suor Angelica looks after the nunnery garden, and has a soothing balm.

A visitor is announced, it is Angelica’s aunt. She had taken over the guardianship of Angelica and her siblings from their parents. Now, she has come to give Angelica documents to sign on the distribution of family assets, because Angelica’s younger sister is going to marry. Her future husband is ready to overlook the shame that Angelica has brought on her family. Angelica appa­ rently has an illegitimate son. She asks her aunt to tell her about him. The aunt explains that the child died two years ago. Then she forces Angelica to sign the papers and leaves the convent. Angelica laments the fate of her child, who had to die without seeing his mother. The unsuspecting sisters congratulate Ange­ lica on finally having the visit she longed for. At night, Angelica is taking her own life. Dying, she falls into despair at the mortal sin of suicide. She is met by celestial choirs and unexpected en­ counters.


Buoso Donati has died. His relatives outdo each other with lamentations on his death. The lament turns into yelling and cursing when the testament is found: Buoso has left his entire estate to a monastery. The young Rinuccio suggests asking the cunning Gianni Schicchi for advice. Rinuccio’s motives are not altruistic, he wants to marry Gianni’s daughter Lauretta. Simone and Zita declare that the aristocratic Donatis would never be associated with the family of a parvenu like Gianni Schicchi.

When Gianni Schicchi enters with Lauretta, Zita refuses her consent to the mar­ riage, as Lauretta does not have a dowry. Gianni, annoyed, wants to leave, but Rinuccio begs him to at least look at the will. Lauretta also threatens to kill her­ self if the wedding never happens. Gianni Schicchi confirms that the will cannot be changed. However, he has an idea – he will play the role of the dying Buoso and dictate a new will to the notary in favour of the relatives. A dispute breaks out over the best parts of the inheritance, the house, the mills at Signa and the prize mule. One relative after another takes Gianni aside and promises a reward if he decides in their favour.

The notary records the will. Gianni awards each relative a share of the inheritance. However, he leaves the house, the mills and the mule to himself – Gianni Schicchi. Gianni slyly reminds the protesting relatives that they are accomplices and will face se­ rious consequences if the fraud is revealed. When the notary and the witnesses have left, Gianni throws the raging relatives out of the house. Lauretta and Rinuccio are happy. There are no further obstacles to their wedding.

Gianni Schicchi explains to the audience that he has been con­ demned to hell for this trick. With reference to the great father Dante, he begs for the entertainment to be taken into conside­ ration in mitigation.


Even though Puccini's one-act operas, especially Gianni Schicchi, are ensemble pieces, in the course...


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