Puccini's Il Trittico, world-premiered at the Metropolitan Opera New York in 1918, consists out of the three one-act operas Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi. The LNO production of Il trittico marks the first time ever that this exceptional work is performed in Latvia in its entirety - just as Puccini intended it.
Director Viesturs Kairišs: "Puccini set Il Tabarro in 1910, Suor Angelica in the late 17th century, and Gianni Schicchi in the 13th century, in Dante's time. So according to Puccini, the first opera has the most contemporary setting, and from there on, we move back in time, back in history. We turned this historic paradigm around. The first story is supposed to happen a hundred years ago. We decided to move it to the 1920s. From there, we move further towards our time - our convent is set in the 1950s, and Gianni Schicchi is set today. One of the deepest paradoxes of history is that the most ancient story is the most up-to-date one, packed with greed, corruption, intrigues, and scheming. What was an innocent historical story to laugh at in Puccini's time is a biting reality now. Our reality."
Il Tabarro takes place on a barge on the river Seine. Michele, the captain, recalls happier days when he would shelter his much younger wife Giorgetta and their son under his cloak. But when the son died, the relationship turned sour. Michele finds out that Giorgetta is having an affair with the stevedore Luigi. Michele confronts Luigi, kills him - and presents the corpse, wrapped in the cloak, to his wife.
Suor Angelica is set in a convent. Seven years ago, Angelica was forced to enter this convent as punishment for having defamed her family name by bearing a child out of wedlock. She hasn't had any contact with the outside world ever since she joined the sisterhood. When her aunt, the Princess, visits her to demand Angelica renounce her share of the family estate, Angelica is desperate for news of her son. The Princess coldly informs her that the boy died two years ago. Angelica commits suicide. Dying, she has a vision of being reunited with her child.
Gianni Schicchi unfolds at the deathbed of a wealthy patriarch, Buoso Donati. Each of the greedy family members hopes to inherit the biggest share of the estate. When they find the testament, they realize Donati has left his entire fortune to a monastery. They are desperate for a solution how to get hold of the estate after all. Rinuccio suggests they consult the wily Gianni Schicchi, the family's black sheep. At first, the family rejects the idea, but Rinuccio, who is in love with Schicchi's daughter Lauretta, convinces them to summon Schicchi who arrives together with Lauretta. Schicchi suggests he himself will impersonate the dying Donati and make a new will that would bequeath all of Donati's properties to the family members. He warns everybody that forgery of a testament is a serious crime which will be severely punished by the law, so nobody must ever find out about their scheme. The family hides the corpse of Donati, while Schicchi takes the place of the dying man. When the notary arrives, Schicchi dictates a new will and, to the outrage of the family, makes sure that he himself gets the most valuable properties.