Opera Double Bill
Archive :: production:T01623625243, opera or operetta:S718711796, venue:V975
Gianni Schicchi/The Rite of Spring
Sung in Italian with English titles. Inspired by an episode in Dante's Inferno, Puccini's short opera Gianni Schicchi is an irresistible satyr play, set around the death-bed of a rich man. The scheming relatives who vie for a chunk of the dead man's fortune are all too recognisable, revealing the greed and avarice which lie just below the thin veneer of their family loyalties. With its vivid characterisation and the spontaneity of its musical invention, Gianni Schicchi is a comic masterpiece in miniature which also contains one of Puccini's best known arias, 'O mio babbino caro'. Christopher Alden's witty and imaginative contemporary staging, first seen in 2015, is revived in a double-bill with Stravinsky's avant-garde ballet The Rite of Spring, co-produced with Phoenix Dance Theatre. Written just five years apart, premiering either side of the First World War, both works are modernist and experimental in tone, offering very different reflections on the decline of an old order, and the beginning of the new. Scottish conductor Garry Walker conducts both pieces, returning to Opera North following Billy Budd (2016).