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
Paul Ferrara is delighted to volunteer as Italian language coach for SAS Performing Arts Concert of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. 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.