Original adaptation from ‘Covid era’, at the debut of the 66th Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago on June 27th, for the first stage work that is staged in Europe after the lockdown, Gianni Schicchi, the only funny opera by Giacomo Puccini. On stage, people recite and sing with surgical masks and 700 spectators – it is a ‘sold out’ but half of the possible seats, 1500 – observe the sanitary distance. The work is set right at the time of the Coronavirus, chosen by the Argentine director Valentina Carrasco, in a deserted Florence as never seen before. Furthermore, in the background of the scene, real images are taken on video, taken from current events. Who’s here? The protagonists of the pandemic, from Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, to the governors of Campania, De Luca, and Lombardy, Fontana, the latter proposed while wearing the surgical mask in the first days of the emergency when the virus began to spread. It is not a parody, it is explained, but the realistic representation of the precautions and the lockdown due to Coronavirus. The scrolling images remind viewers, as a kind of alert, because the interpreters, the protagonists, starting with the baritone Bruno Taddia, who is Gianni Schicchi, go on stage with health protection. Furthermore, if the rich Buoso Donati dies in the plot, the updated work makes one suspect that he was a victim of the Coronavirus. Around him, relatives flock to share the inheritance singing all with the surgical mask: an inevitable trick to be able to perform the opera representation by observing the health precautions. Not only that: Gianni Schicchi is the only funny opera by Puccini, however this Pucciniano festival show ends with a moving ending, a cameo one would say, entrusted to the re-presentation in the final of the air ‘O babbino caro’ sung by Lauretta, that is Elisabetta Zizzo. It is a dedication to all Coronavirus deaths, in particular to the elderly who died in the solitude of hospitals. It is the only sad moment of the work, a moment of recollection, of reflection for those who are no longer there. At the beginning there had been another one before they attacked the notes played by the Orchestra of Tuscany conducted by John Axerold: the mayor of Viareggio Giorgio Del Ghingaro made observe a minute of silence to remember the eleventh anniversary of the Viareggio train massacre of 29 June 2009 together with the public in the ‘theater’ inside the Cittadella Del Carnevale, which is the structure where allegorical floats rest and where an opera was made for the first time. (HANDLE).
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