Teatro alla Scala
THE IMPRESARIO was designed by Mozart to poke outrageous fun at the trials and tribulations of being the director of an opera company. Our irreverent contemporary version takes place in August, 2018 on the stage of the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Impresario, Knoxville Opera’s General Director, is busy putting the finishing touches on the scenery and props for the company’s upcoming production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. Retired Italian tenor Cristoforo Cannelloni (a legend in his own mind) has been engaged to assist the Impresario who apparently has no talent in casting singers. Among the artists making the final cut are a local reverend, the gentleman who sings the national anthem at UT football games, and the two egomaniacal men who don’t hesitate to cast themselves. Auditioning for the plumb ingénue role are two University of Tennessee students who sing like angels but act like dueling divas!
GIANNI SCHICCHI takes place at 9:00 am on September 1, 1299 in Florence, Italy. Wealthy aristocrat Buoso Donati has just died and his family are gathered in mourning. Upon discovering his Last Will and Testament they are appalled to learn that Donati has left his most valued possessions to a group of friars. Greed drives them to contrive a way to change the will in order to give the inheritance to themselves. Called in to save the day is the reprobate Gianni Schicchi, whose daughter Lauretta is in love with Donati’s cousin’s nephew Rinuccio. Schicchi devises a scheme to take Donati’s place in bed, call in a notary, and redo the will. The relatives are elated, each entreating Schicchi to favor them when he rewrites the testament. The notary arrives and dutifully executes Donati’s (Schicchi’s) wishes. Suffice it to say that Lauretta and Rinuccio will be married with a handsome dowry!