Gianni Schicchi
  • Giacomo Puccini. Opera in one act. 1918.
  • Libretto by Giovacchino Forzano, after an episode in Dante’s Inferno .
  • First performance at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, on 14th December 1918.
CHARACTERS
Gianni Schicchi, aged 50 baritone
Lauretta, his daughter, aged 21 soprano
Zita (La Vecchia), aged 60, cousin of Buoso Donati contralto
Rinuccio, aged 24, her nephew tenor
Gherardo, aged 40, Buoso Donati's nephew tenor
Nella, aged 34, his wife soprano
Gherardino, aged 7, their son alto
Betto di Signa, of uncertain age, Buoso Donati's brother-in-law bass
Simone, aged 70, Buoso Donati's cousin bass
Marco, aged 45, his son baritone
La Ciesca, aged 38, Marco's wife mezzo-soprano
Maestro Spinelloccio, doctor bass
Ser Amantio di Nicolao, lawyer baritone
Pinellino, cobbler bass
Guccio, painter bass

Buoso Donati's relations are anxious about the property he may have left them in his will, which they search for and find, revealing that, as they had feared, Buoso Donati had left everything to a monastery. Rinuccio, who hopes to marry Lauretta, daughter of Gianni Schicchi, suggests that the latter should be called, for whatever help he can give. After due consideration, he proposes taking the place of the dead man, convincing the doctor, speaking from behind the bed- curtains, and a lawyer, who draws up a new will, making smaller bequests to the family, but leaving the major properties to himself, threatening the family with legal penalties if they reveal anything, since they have all been party to the fraud. Rinuccio is now free to marry Lauretta.

Best known of all excerpts from Gianni Schicchi is Lauretta's plea to her father for help, O mio babbino caro (O dear father), too often taken completely out of its satirical context. Gianni Schicchi forms part of the trilogy Il trittico (The Triptych), with Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica) and Il tabarro (The Cloak).