Sunday, March 30, 2008

Puccini's Gianni Schicchi

Gianni Schicchi , a comic one-act opera by the great Puccini, contains, in spite of its brevity, music that has become part of the popular culture, mainly due to the film A Room With A View (1986). It is a black comedy about a scheming Florentine merchant at the dawn of the fourteenth century, and how he uses his wits to win his daughter's happiness. The daughter is named Lauretta, and Lauretta's aria, O mio babbino caro, in which she begs her father to help the man she loves so they can be married, is well-known. It is a song of desperation since sometimes in the past young love could be a desperate thing indeed. There are now so few boundaries and restraints; one wonders if youthful romance today possesses the same intensity and yearning that was once captured in music like Puccini's.


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