A funeral party, family strife and legacy hunting — Giacomo Puccini’s one-act comic opera chronicles the turmoil following the passing of millionaire Buoso Donati in Florence. As his family gathers around his bed to mourn, they all expect a hefty inheritance announced right after — before they realize that Buoso has left everything to a monastery. Driven by panic and greed, a relative suggests the consult the newcomer Gianni Schicchi, whose daughter Lauretta is set to marry one of the Buoso’s cousins Zita. Schicchi and the Donatis agree to alter Buoso’s will together and devise a devious plan that involves the following: falsifying a will, committing identity theft and hiding a dead body. Little do the Donatis know that Schicchi is just as greedy and unscrupulous as the family he professes to be helping. With conductor Shibata Maiku and stage director Aguni Jun, young opera singers will present Puccini’s only comedy masterpiece this summer and tempt the audience to become accomplices in this spectacular trick.
Image: 2016 Opera Training Institute audition © New National Theatre, Tokyo