An opera in one act based on an episode in Dante’s Inferno
Libretto: Giovacchino Forzano
Alessandro Corbelli takes the title role in Annabel Arden’s whirlwind production of Puccini’s compact opera, in which the scheming Gianni Schicchi retrieves for himself the spoils of a disinherited family to pave the way for his daughter to marry her love. New production, filmed live at the Glyndebourne Opera House, 11th July, 2004, recorded in High Definition and True Surround Sound.
Alessandro Corbelli, Massimo Giordano, Sally Matthews, Felicity Palmer, Marie McLaughlin
London Philharmonic Orchestra / Vladimir Jurowski
Stage Director Annabel Arden
Illustrated Synopsis and Cast Gallery.
Interviews with Alessandro Corbelli, Vladimir Jurowski and Annabel Arden.
‘Alessandro Corbelli delivers a masterclass in how to extract every ounce of humour from comedy by playing it straight. He is the king of comedy and an international treasure.’
‘…conducted with flamboyant verve and mercurial comic energy by Jurowski, this is close to the perfect Glyndebourne experience’
Sunday Times Magazine
'Gianni Schicchi is delicious… Firstly, Glyndebourne’s ensemble cast is excellent. Secondly, Vicki Mortimer’s sets are a total delight. Thirdly, Arden’s direction combines the tightest classic farce discipline with a Weekend at Bernie’s-style unhinged frat-pack energy: a blend beautifully encapsulated by Alessandro Corbelli’s remarkable impersonation of Roberto Benigni in the title role.'
The Independent on Sunday
'Annabel Arden’s dark staging of Rachmaninov’s opera and her brilliantly funny view of Puccini’s comedy make for a perfect Glyndebourne evening. Sergei Leiferkus and Alessandro Corbelli are memorable in the respective title parts and Vladimir Jurowski is the superb conductor.'
Sunday Times Culture
'Puccini was an opera composer of genius, a master of the theatre. There is not a wasted note in Gianni Schicchi, not a trick that does not come off. It is his equivalent of Verdi’s Falstaff and almost as successful in combining comedy with a darker vein. The score is a dazzling display of wit and artifice. It is difficult to imagine a more lively and closely integrated performance. It is funny but never over the top. Alessandro Corbelli’s Schicchi, who outwits the grasping family of the dead man he impersonates, is a comic masterpiece, and Massimo Giordano and Sally Matthews sing well as the young lovers. The rest of the cast includes Felicity palmer, Marie McLaughlin, Adrian Thompson and Luigi Roni, each of them able to invest the lift of an eyebrow or the slyness of a glance with extra meaning. It is an ensemble piece in which everyone must be a star and at Glyndebourne they all shine brightly.'
'…immaculately crafted, effortlessly buoyant comedy… A finely integrated ensemble cast takes full advantage of the opportunities and the farce bubbles away nicely without exaggerated mugging (some business with a corpse and a cupboard is pure Basil Fawlty). As the anti-hero Schicchi, Alessandro Corbelli gives an elegant masterclass in the art of opera buffa, and Jurowski conducts a beautifully clean if pedantic account of the score. Great fun all round.'
The Daily Telegraph
'After Slavonic gloom comes Tuscan sunshine and one of the most perfectly cast and cleverly staged productions of Puccini’s Florentine farce that I’ve ever seen. The dead body is hilariously humped and dumped around the stage in a manner reminiscent of a Joe Orton black comedy and Arden’s wickedly perceptive staging is full of brilliant characterisation, not least Alessandro Corbelli’s delightfully droll Schicchi. And there’s terrific playing from the LPO under music director Vladimir Jurowski. Strange bedfellows, these one-act moral fables. But you’ll go out on a high.'
'This was one of the hits of last year’s Glyndebourne season, with the peerless singer-comic Alessandro Corbelli in the title role of this DVD of Annabel Arden’s slick production of Puccini’s one-acter. All the principals distinguish themselves in this tale of the rascally schemer in a small town who pulls off a fast one on its selfish snobs so that his daughter (Sally Matthews, who offers a lovely ‘O mio babbino caro’) can marry her lover (Massimo Giordani).'
Awards & Accolades:
DVD CHOICE BBC Music Magazine (Proms Issue, 2005)
DVD OF THE MONTH The Gramophone (Awards Issue 2005)
DVD Choice ‘Building a Library’ Radio 3 CD Review 18 June 2005
CAT NO: OA 0918 D
FORMAT: All Formats
REGIONS: All Regions
PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9
LENGTH: 74 MINS
SOUND: DTS SURROUND / LPCM STEREO
NO OF DISCS: 1