A family feuds in comic fight for fortune

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A family feuds in comic fight for fortune


Gianni Schicchi (baritone Kim Gwan-dong), center, is surrounded by members of the Donati family in a production of “Gianni Schicchi,” which runs until Sunday at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in central Seoul. Provided by the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts

If you think operas are too long and difficult to understand, think again.

“Gianni Schicchi” is a simple, comedic opera in one act by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini that opened Wednesday and runs through Sunday at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in central Seoul.

The opera is based on a part of Dante’s “Divine Comedy” and is the third part of Puccini’s “Il trittico” (“The Triptych”).

The story, set in Florence in 1299, follows the events after the death of the rich aristocrat Buoso Donati and the dispute amongst his family over his wealth. Meanwhile, there is romance brewing between Rinuccio, a relative of Donati, and Lauretta, the daughter of Gianni Schicchi, a commoner and the city’s charismatic problem-solver.

Donati, as it turns out, is rumored to have left his entire fortune to a monastery, causing the family to scramble to find his will so they can verify the truth. When Rinuccio finds the will, he asks for permission to marry Lauretta and the family agrees because they think they’re going to be rich. When they actually read the will, however, they discover the money will indeed be given to the monastery and they vow to reclaim the fortune. In their panic, they withdraw permission for the marriage.

As they search for a way out of their predicament, Rinuccio proposes they turn to Schicchi for advice, though no one really likes the idea. He decides to help so that his daughter can marry the man she loves.

Schicchi’s plan is to disguise himself as the recently deceased Donati and pretend to be alive when the doctor arrives to verify the death. As Donati, he will create a new, fake will that gives each family member what they want. But when the notary arrives, he bequeaths the most valuable things to himself, knowing that whoever reveals the scheme will have their hand cut off, based on an agreement they all made before the ruse began. Schicchi ends up a rich man and his daughter and Rinuccio are now free to marry.

The plot is full of silliness, tempered by the star-crossed romance between the two young lovers. And when Lauretta learns that she and Rinuccio will not be able to marry, her impassioned plea in the aria “O mio babbino caro” (“Oh, My Dear Papa”) tugs at the heart.

Although it was written almost a century ago, the plot is still relevant today, since there are still many families that fight over who gets what when a family member dies.

On Saturday, the father-daughter team of baritone Kim Gwan-dong and soprano Kim Ji-hyun perform in the lead roles.

*“Gianni Schicchi” will run to Sunday at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts’ M Theater. Performances start at 7:30 p.m. today, and at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets range from 10,000 won to 70,000 won. Go to Gwanghwamun Station, line No. 5, exit 1 or 8. Call (02) 399-1783~6 or visit www.sejongpac.or.kr.

By Lee Sun-min [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [CBS노컷]
"아버지, 결혼 허락하지 않으면 죽겠어요♪"…희극 오페라 `잔니 스키키`

소프라노 조수미가 돌아가신 아버지를 생각하며 불렀다는 ‘오, 나의 사랑하는 아버지(O mio babbino caro)’는 오페라 `잔니 스키키`의 유명한 아리아다.

철부지 딸이 아버지에게 애인과 결혼하겠다고 간청하는 노래로, 애인과의 결혼을 허락하지 않으면 죽겠다고 아버지를 협박하는 노랫말이지만 작곡가 푸치니는 서정적이고 아름다운 선율로 만들어냈다.

서울시오페라단이 피렌체의 한 부자의 유산을 둘러싼 가족들의 우스꽝스러운 소동을 그린 오페라 `잔니 스키키`를 소극장 무대에 올린다.

오페라 `잔니 스키키`는 무대와 객석이 가까운 600석 규모의 세종문화회관 M씨어터에서 6일부터 10일까지 공연되어 성악가들의 연기와 표정변화를 노래와 함께 감상할 수 있어 오페라를 처음 접하는 관객들에게 더욱 좋을 것으로 보인다.

바리톤 김관동, 한경석이 잔니 스키키로 출연하고, 소프라노 강혜정이 라우레타로 출연한다. 지난 5월 서울시오페라의 신인 성악가 오디션에서 합격한 소프라노 강민성, 테너 강동명, 메조소프라노 김정미 등도 주목할 만하다.
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