Prague National Theatre tickets 13 June 2024 - Don Buoso / Gianni Schicchi |

Don Buoso / Gianni Schicchi

Prague National Theatre, Prague, Czech Republic
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Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Prague, Czech Republic
Starts at: 19:00
Sung in: Italian
Titles in: Czech,English
Conductor: Giancarlo Andretta
Orchestra: The National Theatre Orchestra
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Poet: Dante Alighieri
Director: David Radok
Librettist: Giovacchino Forzano

The historical figure of Gianni Schicchi had already intrigued Dante Alighieri, who even mentioned the fraudster in the famous epic poem Divina commedia: the medieval Florentine knight reputedly forged the will of the wealthy Buoso Donati, for which he was condemned to Hell.

Yet Gianni Schicchi only became generally known due to Giacomo Puccini and his comic opera. The plot starts with the relatives of the late Don Buoso gathered to learn of their respective inheritances. There are rumours that he left the family in the lurch and bequeathed the largest part of his immense fortune to a monastery. Bypassing Don Buoso’s will thus suggests itself as a natural solution …  Is everything really as funny as Puccini indicates by his humorous, rollicking and brilliant music, teeming with his characteristic melodies, including the famed aria “O mio babbino caro”? What kind of people are the relatives of the deceased man?

And what was Buoso Donati like? Are Puccini’s characters just colourful figures from medieval Florence, or are we much more similar to them than we may think? And didn’t Dante overlook someone else in Hell, someone having a hand in the story? Such questions inspired the distinguished Czech stage director David Radok to create a brand-new, darkly comic opera, set at the time preceding Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and depicting the possible circumstances of Don Buoso’s death … He and the composer Jan Kučera have written for the National Theatre in Prague a piece whose story and music derive from Puccini’s renowned one-acter, while shifting the narrative into a rather different light.

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

Prague National Theatre - Prague
Location   Národní 2

The National Theatre is the prime stage of the Czech Republic. It is also one of the symbols of national identity and a part of the European cultural space, with a tradition spanning more than 130 years. It is the bearer of the national cultural heritage, as well as a space for free artistic creation.

The National Theatre (Czech: Národní divadlo) in Prague is known as the alma mater of Czech opera, and as the national monument of Czech history and art.

The National Theatre belongs to the most important Czech cultural institutions, with a rich artistic tradition, which helped to preserve and develop the most important features of the nation–the Czech language and a sense for a Czech musical and dramatic way of thinking.

Today, the National Theatre is made up of four artistic companies – the Opera, Drama, Ballet and Laterna magika. It artistically manages four stages – the three historical buildings: the National Theatre (1883), the State Opera (1888), and the Estates Theatre (1783), and the more recently opened New Stage (1983). The Opera, Drama and Ballet companies perform not only titles from the ample classical legacy, in addition to Czech works, they also focus on contemporary international creation.

Grand opening

The National Theatre was opened for the first time on 11 June 1881, to honour the visit of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria. Bedřich Smetana's opera Libuše was given its world premiere, conducted by Adolf Čech. Another 11 performances were presented after that. Then the theatre was closed down to enable the completion of the finishing touches. While this work was under way a fire broke out on 12 August 1881, which destroyed the copper dome, the auditorium, and the stage of the theatre.

The fire was seen as a national catastrophe and was met with a mighty wave of determination to take up a new collection: Within 47 days a million guldens were collected. This national enthusiasm, however, did not correspond to the behind-the-scenes battles that flared up following the catastrophe. Architect Josef Zítek was no longer in the running, and his pupil architect Josef Schulz was summoned to work on the reconstruction. He was the one to assert the expansion of the edifice to include the block of flats belonging to Dr. Polák that was situated behind the building of the Provisional Theatre. He made this building a part of the National Theatre and simultaneously changed somewhat the area of the auditorium to improve visibility. He did, however, take into account with utmost sensitivity the style of Zítek's design, and so he managed to merge three buildings by various architects to form an absolute unity of style.

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Prague, Czech Republic
Starts at: 19:00
Sung in: Italian
Titles in: Czech,English
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