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Duquesne’s Opera Workshop Stages Pair of Puccini Classics

The Duquesne University Opera Workshop will present two one-act operas by renowned composer Giacomo Puccini. Performances of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi are scheduled for Friday, April 8, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at Carnegie Music Hall in Carnegie, Pa.

The two operas, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, make up two-thirds of a trio of works that Puccini collectively called Il Trititico (The Triptych). Puccini originally intended them to be staged with the third part of The Triptych (Il Tabarro or The Cloak); the three operas were first performed, together, in 1918 and later came to be staged separately.

Puccini first intended these three operas to express aspects of Dante’s Divine Comedy, but in the end only Gianni Schicchi, named for a real person that Dante listed among hell’s denizens—poetic justice for Signor Schicchi’s notorious duplicity, has any thematic relationship to the work. All three of the one-act operas are stylistically similar, however, in that they are examples of what is termed Verismo opera or opera based on stories of real people, with music and libretti that aim at emotional authenticity.

Each of the two works the Opera Workshop is bringing to the stage is unique: Suor Angelica being Puccini’s personal favorite among his operas and Gianni Schicchi his only comedy.

Both operas will be staged with costumes and scenery, and each is approximately one hour in length. All of the singers, with the exception of two parts in Gianni Schicchi that will be sung by up-and-coming professionals, are students in the Mary Pappert School of Music’s vocal program. The Duquesne Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Carl Hess, will supply the instrumental music for the performances.

There is a $15 suggested donation for the performance. For more information, call 412.396.6083.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.