Puccini Il Trittico (Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi) Creative
Giacomo Puccini (22 December 1858 – 29 November 1924) was an Italian regarded as one of the greatest Italian composers and most successful proponent of Italian opera after Verdi. He was descended from a long line of composers, stemming from the late-Baroque era. Though his early work was firmly rooted in traditional late-19th-century Romantic Italian opera he later developed his work in the realistic verismo style. His operatic style also utilized compositional techniques of contemporary composers such as the French composer Debussy, the German composer Richard Wagner, Viennese Richard Strauss, as well as twentieth century composers such as Stravinsky, Mahler, and Schoenberg.
His most renowned works are Manon Lescaut (1893), La bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), Madama Butterfly (1904), La Fanciulla del West (1910), La Rondine (1917), Il Trittico (1918), and Turandot (1924).
Giovacchino Forzano 19 November 1884 – 28 October 1970 was an Italian playwright, librettist, stage and film director. A resourceful writer, he authored numerous popular plays and produced opera librettos for most of the major Italian composers of the early twentieth century, including the librettos for Giacomo Puccini's Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi.
Forzano was born in Borgo San Lorenzo, in the province of Florence. He studied medicine before embarking on a brief career as an operatic baritone. He then began studying law and, after finishing his diploma, became a freelance journalist, contributing regularly to several of Italy's major newspapers. In 1914 he met and befriended Puccini who asked him to write the librettos for his Il trittico, a collection of three one-act operas. Forzano agreed to write the librettos for two of the works, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, but declined Il tabarro saying that he preferred to create his own plots (Giuseppe Adami wrote the libretto for Il tabarro). Il trittico premiered at the Metropolitan Opera on 14 December 1918 to high acclaim. With the success of Il trittico, Forzano was soon approached by other composers to provide librettos, including Alberto Franchetti, Ruggero Leoncavallo, Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Mario Peragallo, Umberto Giordano, and Pietro Mascagni.
In 1920 Forzano became a stage director at La Scala, serving in that capacity through 1930. During the 1920s he became one of the most successful and frequently performed dramatists of his day. He later became a producer and director of propaganda films for the National Fascist Party under Benito Mussolini. In 1957 he published a volume of memoirs, Come li ho conosciuti, which reveal interesting perspectives on the composers with whom he collaborated. He also participated in several filmed documentaries that recall his work on Gianni Schicchi with Puccini.
He died at Rome in 1970.
Librettist Il Tabarro
Giuseppe Adami (4 February 1878 – 12 October 1946) was an Italian librettist, playwright and music critic, he was best known for his collaboration with Giacomo Puccini on the operas La rondine (1917), Il tabarro (1918) and Turandot (1926).
Adami also wrote several plays, such as I fioi di Goldoni, Una capanna e il tuo cuore (1913), Capelli bianchi (1915), Felicità Colombo (1935) and Nonna Felicità (1936). The latter was adapted into a film in 1938 by director Mario Mattoli.
Adami was born in Verona. He graduated at the University of Padua in Law but dedicated his career as a writer, theatre playwright, and then music critic.
Stephen Scovasso is a musicologist, conductor, director and author. He has directed operas including, Carmen, Tosca, La Bohème, Don Giovanni, Gianni Schicchi, Cosi fan Tutte as well operetta's such as The Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus. He has also directed American Musical Theater pieces such as Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Bernstein’s Candide. In the dramatic theater, Stephen has directed Garcia Lorca’s La Casa del Bernarda Alba, Oscar Wilde’s Salome. In conjunction with SAS Performing Arts Company, he has produced and directed 6 full length virtual streams including Dracula: The Radio Play, Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as many virtual concerts and holiday concerts. Stephen studied Operatic and Symphonic conducting under the tutelage of the late Vincent La Selva. Among the works he has conducted are Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 in D minor, Handel’s Messiah, Puccini’s Tosca, and Mozart's Don Giovanni. During his years at Arizona State University, he taught classes on the Baroque Style, Opera, American Musical Theater, and Stephen Sondheim. Mr. Scovasso has also published a treatise on Puccini's Il Trittico and the end of Italian Opera
Collaborative PIanist - Il Tabarro
SUSAN MORTON, pianist, linguist, conductor, maintains a busy coaching studio in New York City. She has long been associated with Italian opera, language and culture, and has worked both in the US and abroad in diverse opera companies and programs.
Mentoring young singers has become an important part of Susan’s work abroad as well as at home in New York. She is Director/Founder as well of two programs which foster greater professionalism through performances and language training: SingThrough Central, an ongoing role-study score-reading program and its sister project: Festa Lirica Italiana, a full-immersion, intensive role-study and language program during the month of June on the island of Ischia (Italy).
Some of her most recent successes include vocal masterclasses in three cities in Mexico at UDLAP (Puebla), UNICACH (Tuxtla Gutiérrez), and in Mexico City.
Past credits include staff positions at New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, posts at Florida State University, Westminster Choir College, Manhattan School of Music, and the SUNY New Paltz Language Institute, Opera Colorado, Connecticut Opera, Sarasota Opera, Indianapolis Opera, staff coach and recitative seminars for the Martina Arroyo Foundation, IVAI in Chiari, Italy and in Tel Aviv; Amore Opera and other regional operas and universities.
She maintains a private studio in New York and is an active recitalist, appearing frequently in New York City, including numerous appearances at Scorca Hall at the National Opera Center, at Carnegie Hall, at Weill Recital Hall, Trinity Church (Wall Street), in Williamsburg, VA and Hudson, NY. Other credits include the Naumburg Competition at Carnegie Hall, Community Concerts tours of the Southwest United States and concerts in Italy, including in Ischia, Florence, Bergamo and Rome.
Collaborative Pianist Suor Angelica
Jonathan K. Parks is a Manhattan-based music director, vocal coach and pianist, equally versed in musical theatre and opera. Broadway: Chicago. National Tours: Chicago, Young Frankenstein. Regional: Barrington Stage Company, Ogunquit Playhouse, Gateway Playhouse, Northern Stage, New London Barn Playhouse, Lake Dillon Theatre Company, Amarillo Opera. Favorite past shows include: West Side Story (New Hampshire Theatre Award for Best Musical), Hair (Denver Post Ovation Award for Best Musical), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Colorado Theatre Guild Nomination for Best Music Direction), Mary Poppins, 42nd Street, Gypsy, and Street Scene. He is a proud graduate of Florida State University and is currently on the faculty of Marymount Manhattan College. www.jonathankparks.com
Collaborative Pianist - Gianni Schicchi
David Fraley, a recent graduate of the Pepperdine Music Department, is a pianist and music director in the Greater Los Angeles area. David grew up in Camarillo, CA and became involved with the music community in Thousand Oaks through his 10-year teacher Edward Francis. At age 14 he had his debut with orchestra, performing Rhapsody in Blue with the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic. He was invited to be a soloist with them on three future occasions. David began collegiate studies at Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, IN and later transferred to Pepperdine University. He was a winner of the 2018 Thomas Osborne Concerto Competition, performing the first movement of Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto. He was piano-conductor of "Big Fish" at Pepperdine (2017), and co-music director and piano-conductor of "Sweeney Todd" at Conejo Players Theatre (2019), for which he won Outstanding Musical Direction from Four Star Theater Alliance. For four years, David has music directed Contempo, the Pepperdine musical theater ensemble. Aside from the proud work he does as a pianist for local churches, David currently gives private lessons and works as a choral and instrumental coach and accompanist.
Italian Diction Coach
Paul Ferrara is delighted to volunteer again as Italian Language Coach for SAS Performing Arts Company. Paul earned his Ph.D. in Italian from the University of California, Berkeley. He lived two years in Florence, Italy, where he sang with the Coro del Quartiere 14. He also performed with the Madison Opera Chorus (Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci) and served as its Italian Language Coach (Madama Butterfly). In addition, he has served as Italian Language Coach for numerous productions with Amore Opera (Un ballo in maschera, Il barbiere di Siviglia, La bohème, Tosca, La traviata, La zingara). Paul holds J.D. and LL.M. (Taxation) degrees from NYU School of Law. He is a Managing Director/Wealth Strategies Advisor at Bank of America Private Bank.
Sitting at the feet of the Maestro...
Here is a narrative by Alberto Benitez inspired by Puccini's Il Trittico
PREFACE: The Maestro then spoke to me of three stories, so different but equally compelling and beautifully told. I heard the Seine in his music, I could hear this river caressing the city of lights, a woman, unable to escape, finding a forbidden love with a young man,, they sang of the immortal fascination of Paris only to find death and despair. Then the mood changed, most beautiful angelic, heavenly music, like a bright light as he told me of a young woman, a Nun, unlike any other, she came from a life of privilege to a life of service…, she became acquainted with the horrible truth of the death of her child, the son she bore but never held. Her hopes to ever seeing him crushed to pieces, she takes her life and begs for a miracle as she is dying…. A miracle happens she sees her child, I see the child... I feel the notes of these melodies were handed down to Maestro by an angel, any other explanation is useless. I cry, I believe the miracle… The mood changes again and Maestro tells me of a man about town, who uses the greed of others and turns it into a weapon…, every human emotion plays out in front of me. The music teases my senses and paints a perfect picture of time and place that is funny, beautiful and full of light. In the end, love triumphs over death, the man asks for leniency, he should get it…. The music stops....but the echoes will go on forever in my heart and the hearts of many. His name was Giacomo. I spent many afternoons listening as if I was at his feet. I will listen for the rest of my life…that much I owe him.