Giacomo Puccini
Gianni Schicchi


This Double Bill premiered at the Harris Theater

A DAMNED GOOD PAIRING. Director Andreas Mitisek provides some visual continuity between La Voix Humaine and Gianni Schicchi by using much of the same stage design and props in both. In the latter, however, he heightens the comedy with outlandish costumes, showcasing the most garish of 1960s couture, including brightly colored psychedelic prints, ruffled dress shirts, and oversize, gold-framed eyeglasses.

It is a surprisingly successful and enjoyable pairing that illuminates the similarities and differences of each. For one, both share a preoccupation with love and death (don’t all operas?), but one is a tragedy and the other a comedy. –– Stage and Cinema, Chicago

Mitisek did, however, update "Schicchi" to the swinging 1960s, with all the funky fashions thereof, thereby bringing its rambunctious action closer in time to Poulenc's 1959 musical portrait of a woman engaged in a final phone conversation with her former lover. –– Chicago Tribune


The ‘60s visuals continued into the Puccini, as “Elle’s” solitary apartment gave way to a swirling projected environment of psychedelic pink, orange, and lime green with groovy period couture to match. This all created an ambiance of kaleidoscopic chaos as the Donati family squabbled greedily away. One occasionally had the impression the cast had wandered onto the set of The Dating Game, but it was colorful and funny, and framed the mounting’s over-the-top characterizations delightfully. COT’s double bill was a diverting and very creative theatrical evening.


Chicago Opera Theater  2016 

Gianni Schicchi: Michael Chioldi
Lauretta: Emily Birsan
Zita: Barbara Landis
Rinuccio: Christopher Tiesi
Gherardo: Scott Ramsey
Nella: Helen Wyatt
Betto: Andrew Simpson
Simone: Bruce Hall
Marco: Nicholas Davis
La Ciesca: Kira Dills-DeSurra
Spinelloccio: Matthew Black
Amantio di Nicolao: Martin Woods
Pinellino: Christopher Remmel 


Chicago Opera Theater 2016

Gianni Schicchi
Gianni Schicchi
Gianni Schicchi
Gianni Schicchi
Gianni Schicchi
Gianni Schicchi
Gianni Schicchi
Gianni Schicchi
Gianni Schicchi
Gianni Schicchi

Photographer: Michael Brosilow