Sunday, June 02, 2013

Gianni Schicchi Diary pt. 6

Giotto di Bondone 1266-1337

Lotta music yesterday in a beautiful private home. Our hosts are Italian speakers and supporters of the opera and the Maestro, who came in around 4.30. Immediately Gianni Schicchi the opera became more focused. Seriously, it pays to work with a native Italian speakers in an ensemble opera like this once. Especially since many of the ensembles are presto-quick. You need the dental consonants
, the  liquid vowels and the crispness of the diction. Puccini's music doesn't let you wallow in the words, but use them as intended, for expression.
Piazza Santa Croce

he Maestro also challenged me a bit with Puccini's stage directions as indicated i n the score. I see that our Gherardino will have more to do, especially at the beginning of the opera. Nico Castel suggests the boy's restlessness means he has to go to the bathroom. Fa il pipi...Maybe. The Maestro talked of a Florentine loving a bouncing ball. Whether he was kidding me-and he does have humor with an edge-a bouncing ball is not a bad idea.  He can run and bounce through the aisles. Problem is he's a cute kid and we do after all want people trained on the singers and the music,. What a balance between active stagings and respect for the music. It is possible to achieve both.  A gifted director knows how to do it. I will keep on leaning.,

Rinuccio gives us a travelogue of Florence, likening it to a tree  in flower. There are references to Giotto and the Piazza Santa Croce

I'm counting on the Maestro to keep Firenze in front of us. He is Fiorentino. Yesterday he touched briefly upon the differences in accent between a Roman and a  Florentine. A Florentine will make a lisping sound more than a Roman. Rinuccio tells us what Florence means-in beauty, trees, flowers, art, the Arno:

It's that first opening of the shutters I want you to see, from this lovely film.

And Gianni Schicchi himself reminds the Donati that nobody wants to be exiled from Florence, much less have their hand chopped off for falsifying a will:

Onward! Next rehearsal this Tuesday. Staging review for one hour followed by music rehearsal. Some of us go to visit the performance space on Wednesday. Fingers crossed.

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