Librettist, Giovacchino Forzano
Gianni Schicchi (1917-1918)
Synopsis: Buoso Donati, a rich Fiorentine, has died. As his body, still warm, lies on his bed, his relatives fret about the contents of his will, fearing that he left nothing to them. They scramble around the house, looking for the precious document. Young Rinuccio is the one to find it, and before he hands it over to his Aunt Zita, begs her permission to marry his sweetheart, Lauretta, daughter of Gianni Schicchi. His aunt replies that if they all receive their inheritance, he can marry whomever he likes. The contents of the will confirm their suspicions: Donati has left everything to a monastery. Rinuccio suggests calling for Schicchi, whose inventive ideas can always be counted upon to avert a crisis. Schicchi arrives with Lauretta, who pleads with her father to find a way to help the family claim the inheritance so that she and Rinuccio can marry. Schicchi agrees, and dreams up a scheme: he will impersonate Donati on his deathbed, call for the Notary and dictate a new will leaving the dead man's estate to his family. The relatives are thrilled, and set about to prepare the scene. The Notary arrives, and Schicchi, alias Donati, dictates the new will, bequeathing everything to himself! The mortified family are forced to remain silent as they are implicated in a grave crime. As soon as the Notary leaves, an outrage ensues, and Schicchi chases the family out of what is now his own house. The young lovers, Lauretta and Rinuccio remain, dreaming of their future happiness together, while Gianni Schicchi turns to the audience to justify his actions and beg their indulgence.
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