Bavarian State Opera 8 April 2024 - Il trittico |

Il trittico

Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Germany
All photos (15)
Monday 8 April 2024

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Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Munich, Germany
Starts at: 19:00

The thriller on the Seine. The suffering, death and glorification of a mother, whose child has been taken from her. And, as a Satyr play, the confidence trick by the shiftiest legacy hunter of the Middle Ages. Three self-contained operas with seemingly unconnected narratives. But are they? Il tabarro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi – the three one-acters which Giacomo Puccini merged under the art-historical title of “The Triptych” – are snippets of reality. Instead of trying and failing to portray the world in its entirety in a long opera, similar to an epic novel, he gives prominence to three historical events, united in one piece of music, which seek to convey authentically every nuance of human emotion from ruthless coldness of heart to burning passion.

Il tabarro (The Cloak)

Paris, beginning of the 20th century. A barge on the Seine. Hard work with little reward for the day-labourers and stevedores, even the padrone. The people find their humble joy in the small things: a song, a glass of wine, something they may have found, perhaps even a little togetherness. Michele, the owner of the barge, and his young wife Giorgietta once believed that happiness was within their grasp – love, marriage, a child. The child has, however, passed away, and his death has alienated them from one another. Two of Michele’s stevedores, known as ‘Mole’ and ‘Tench’, are experiencing different degrees of luck in their lives. Mole’s wife, called ‘The Rummager’, collects odds and ends, and dreams of spending her twilight years with her husband and cat in a small cottage. Tench drowns his sorrows in alcohol while his wife plays away. A third stevedore, Luigi, blames the exploitative conditions for the misery of the working class. Giorgetta seeks a way out of her haunting isolation and believes she can find this in Luigi, who hails from the same Parisian quarter as she does. She starts an affair with him, an affair in which every tender touch is overshadowed by the fear of being discovered. Both suspect that a future together can only be a dream. Deceiving her husband awakens within Giorgetta an old feeling of solidarity with him. But it is all too late for reconciliation. Michele’s suspicions are confirmed, and the affair reaches a fatal end. Underneath Michele’s cloak, once a sign of safety for Giorgetta, a crime is concealed.

Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica)

An Italian convent, end of the 17th century. Strict rules denote life in the convent. The women pray and work, each with their own duty: the lay sisters perform simple tasks, the mistress instructs the novices, the monitress oversees the rules, the nursing sister looks after the sick, and the alms sisters procure donations from the outside world. Sister Angelica, responsible for the convent’s medicinal herbs, arrived seven years ago. The reason for her arrival is unknown to her fellow sisters, although it is obvious to them all that she carries a sad secret within. It is her child of whom she thinks constantly. Immediately after birth, the unmarried young mother, whose parents had died early, had her child taken away from her and was banished to the convent as punishment for bringing shame on the family. Now, though, she receives her first visitor: her aunt, the Princess, demands that Angelica renounce her share of the family inheritance so that her younger sister may wed. The strict Princess mentions no word of the child at first, only doing so after Angelica threatens to curse her. In empty words, her aunt informs her that the boy passed away two years previously from a serious illness. In her despair, Angelica imagines being called by her son and wishes to be reunited with him in Heaven. She uses her knowledge of herbs to concoct a poison. But while drinking the deadly potion, she realises that she is committing a mortal sin and fears being damned to eternal separation from her son. An apparition restores her already-diminished faith: the Virgin Mary brings Angelica and her beloved child together.

Gianni Schicchi

Florence, the year 1299. Rich, old Buoso Donati has died, and his relatives are gathered around his deathbed in expectation of receipt of his material legacy. The rumour, however, is that Buoso has bequeathed everything to the monks. His family feverishly search for his will and discover, as feared, that they have been disinherited. Buoso’s oldest relative, Simone, believes that nothing can be done. But young Rinuccio, his nephew, knows who can help: Gianni Schicchi – an upstart from the countryside, sure, but one who knows every trick in the book. Rinuccio’s suggestion is not altogether unselfish, while he is in love with Schicchi’s daughter Lauretta, and hopes that her father can convince the older Donatis to consent to this coupling of two people from very different social classes. Schicchi, pre-emptively invited by Rinuccio, is so disgusted by the arrogance of Zita and all the other Donatis that he decides that he and his daughter should leave again immediately. But Lauretta, just like her father, begs him to stay and insinuates in a disarming tone that she would rather take her own life. Schicchi then backs down and ultimately has the perfect idea. As nobody but those present are aware of Buoso’s death, he slips into the role of the deceased, makes a fool of the vain doctor, and then, disguised and with an affected voice, composes a new will and testament with the notary in Buoso’s name. He naturally bequeaths the family more than the deceased had, but they must angrily watch as Schicchi then claims the majority of the wealth for himself. None of them dare to uncover the deception, however, as he makes it very clear what kind of punishment would await them as accomplices. At the end, the young couple kiss, while Schicchi turns to the audience and pleads for them to forgive his misdeed in light of the circumstances having benefitted the young lovers.

Premiere of this production: 14 December 1918, Metropolitan Opera

Il tabarro (The Cloak) is an opera in one act by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Giuseppe Adami, based on Didier Gold's play La houppelande. It is the first of the trio of operas known as Il trittico. The first performance was given on 14 December 1918 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Premiere of this production: 14 December 1918, Metropolitan Opera

Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica) is an opera in one act by Giacomo Puccini to an original Italian libretto by Giovacchino Forzano. It is the second opera of the trio of operas known as Il trittico (The Triptych). It received its world premiere at the Metropolitan Opera on December 14, 1918.

Premiere of this production: 14 December 1918, Metropolitan Opera

Gianni Schicchi is a comic opera in one act by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Giovacchino Forzano, composed in 1917–18. The libretto is based on an incident mentioned in Dante's Divine Comedy. The work is the third and final part of Puccini's Il trittico (The Triptych)—three one-act operas with contrasting themes, originally written to be presented together. Although it continues to be performed with one or both of the other trittico operas, Gianni Schicchi is now more frequently staged either alone or with short operas by other composers. The aria "O mio babbino caro" is one of Puccini's best known, and one of the most popular arias in opera.

Venue Info

Bavarian State Opera - Munich
Location   Max-Joseph-Platz 2

The Bavarian State Opera or the National Theatre (Nationaltheater) on Max-Joseph-Platz in Munich, Germany, is a historic opera house and the main theatre of Munich, home of the Bavarian State Opera, Bavarian State Orchestra, and the Bavarian State Ballet.

During its early years, the National Theatre saw the premières of a significant number of operas, including many by German composers. These included Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (1865), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868), Das Rheingold (1869) and Die Walküre (1870), after which Wagner chose to build the Festspielhaus in Bayreuth and held further premières of his works there.

During the latter part of the 19th century, it was Richard Strauss who would make his mark on the theatre in the city in which he was born in 1864. After accepting the position of conductor for a short time, Strauss returned to the theatre to become principal conductor from 1894 to 1898. In the pre-War period, his Friedenstag (1938) and Capriccio were premièred in Munich. In the post-War period, the house has seen significant productions and many world premieres.

First theatre – 1818 to 1823
The first theatre was commissioned in 1810 by King Maximilian I of Bavaria because the nearby Cuvilliés Theatre had too little space. It was designed by Karl von Fischer, with the 1782 Odéon in Paris as architectural precedent. Construction began on 26 October 1811 but was interrupted in 1813 by financing problems. In 1817 a fire occurred in the unfinished building.

The new theatre finally opened on 12 October 1818 with a performance of Die Weihe by Ferdinand Fränzl, but was soon destroyed by another fire on 14 January 1823; the stage décor caught fire during a performance of Die beyden Füchse by Étienne Méhul and the fire could not be put out because the water supply was frozen. Coincidentally the Paris Odéon itself burnt down in 1818.

Second theatre – 1825 to 1943
Designed by Leo von Klenze, the second theatre incorporated Neo-Grec features in its portico and triangular pediment and an entrance supported by Corinthian columns. In 1925 it was modified to create an enlarged stage area with updated equipment. The building was gutted in an air raid on the night of 3 October 1943.

Third theatre – 1963 to present
The third and present theatre (1963) recreates Karl von Fischer's original neo-classical design, though on a slightly larger, 2,100-seat scale. The magnificent royal box is the center of the interior rondel, decorated with two large caryatids. The new stage covers 2,500 square meters (3,000 sq yd), and is thus the world's third largest, after the Opéra Bastille in Paris and the Grand Theatre, Warsaw.

Through the consistent use of wood as a building material, the auditorium has excellent acoustics. Architect Gerhard Moritz Graubner closely preserved the original look of the foyer and main staircase. It opened on 21 November 1963 with an invitation-only performance of Die Frau ohne Schatten under the baton of Joseph Keilberth. Two nights later came the first public performance, of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, again under Keilberth.

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Munich, Germany
Starts at: 19:00
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