It was supposedly the enormous success of Mascagni’s Cavelleria rusticana that sent Puccini in the direction of one-act operas. Il trittico, or “triptych” – a term that originally meant “triple altar” – includes three one-act operas with unrelated themes, since what could possibly link the verismo opera Il tabarro (The Cloak), with its dark and violent plot about residents of a barge on the Seine, to the redemption story of Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica), to the out-and-out farce revolving around greed and intrigue that is Gianni Schicchi?
The maestro was never pleased if the three operas were not performed as a set: “I very much dislike it when Il trittico is divided into pieces,” he wrote in one 1920 letter after learning that London’s Royal Opera, deeming the one-acts to be separated works, had first omitted Suor Angelica, followed later by Il tabarro, leaving only Gianni Schicchi on the programme.
Much, however, has changed since then in terms of how modern people value time: the three one-acts together now make for an overly long performance, and so the Hungarian State Opera too has repackaged Il trittico in pairings of Il tabarro-Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica-Gianni Schicchi. For anyone who wishes to see all three productions directed by Ferenc Anger together, the premiere at the Erkel Theatre will provide such an opportunity, one which will be repeated in subsequent years.
Director: Ferenc Anger
Visual concept: Gergely Zöldy Z
Conductor: Gergely Kesselyák
Károly Szemerédy (Michele), Eszter Sümegi (Giorgetta), Attila Fekete (Luigi) – Il tabarro
Gabriella Létay Kiss (Sister Angelica), Ildikó Komlósi (Princess) – Suor Angelica
Péter Kálmán (Gianni Schicchi), Orsolya Sáfár (Lauretta), Péter Balczó (Rinuccio) – Gianni Schicchi
Premiere: 12 December 2015, 6 p.m., Erkel Theatre
Il tabarro, Gianni Schicchi – 16, 20, 29 December 2015
Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi – 19, 26, 30 December 2015
Visual design by Gergely Zöldy Z