Il trittico – Puccini
‘Mason’s direction was very funny, partly thanks to Amanda Holden’s brilliant rhyming translation….’
‘Amanda Holden, the elegant translator of all three pieces.’
Amanda Holden’s new translation brought real colour and depth to the characters. Rendering the eponymous ‘cloak’ as The Greatcoat gave the right number of syllables (and was also true to the garment of Didier Gold’s original play, La Houppenlande)…
[In Gianni Schicchi] ‘everyone made the most out of Amanda Holden’s genuinely funny translation.’
As if taking their cue from Holden, the performers rendered both pieces [Il tabarro and Pagliacci] as compact, thrillingly dramatic piecees of theater, surely what the composer intended.
Puccini’s great tryptych of three one-act operas – The Cloak, Sister Angelica and Gianni Schicchi – is seldom performed in its entirety. This translation was commissioned by English National Opera for the first new London production of the complete work since its British premiere, which took place at Covent Garden in 1920 in the presence of the composer.
The production opened at the London Coliseum in April 1998, directed by Patrick Mason and conducted by Shao-Chia Lü and Noel Davies. It was broadcast live by BBC radio 3 on 2 May.
The cast included:
The Cloak: Rosalind Plowright, Philip Joll and David Rendall
Sister Angelica: Anne Williams-King and Elizabeth Vaughan
Gianni Schicchi: Andrew Shore
The production was revived in 2001 with Peter Coleman–Wright and Cheryl Barker in The Cloak – and Barker also in the title role of Sister Angelica.
Aria – in the style of a Tuscan ‘stornello’ –
Firenze è come un albero fiorito
Our city’s like a venerable old oak tree,
through centuries of change it’s always flourished;
but it is fed by roots that reach out far and wide
into the fertile valleys whence it’s nourished.
As the tree grows new branches, leaves and flowers,
we go on building palaces and towers!
The Arno flowing towards the western sea shore
sings as it passes Piazza Santa Croce,
and the streams’ gentle chatter reassures us
that they intend to rejoice and join the chorus!
Thus the experts and artists arrive in torrents
to make the glory and majesty of Florence!
Think how we welcomed goldsmiths like Cellini,
Giotto came here to build his campanile,
From distant hills came Medici patricians,
where would we be without their fierce ambitions?
Hear them all holler: `Veni, Vidi, Vici!’;
now do you see the need for men like Schicchi?
Andantino ingenuo – O mio babbino caro…
Listen to me dear father,
he is my love, my life;
we want to plan our wedding,
I want to be his wife!
And if you won’t allow this,
I’ll run away tomorrow,
I’ll drown my pain and sorrow
deep in the river Arno!
If you refuse to help us,
believe me, I‘d rather die!
Papa, I know you care!