THE POWER OF MONEY at Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam

19th – 28th November.

EINE FLORENTINISCHE TRAGÖDIE and GIANNI SCHICCHI: a juxtaposition of a thriller and a comedy. The totally different short operas are linked by the theme of ‘riches versus love’. How honest are our relationships when there is money at stake?

Eine florentinische Tragödie, by Alexander von Zemlinsky, based on the story by Oscar Wilde, forms a dark counterpart, filled with tension. In Eine florentinische Tragödie, Nikolai Schukoff is returning (after singing the title role in Lohengrin) as Guido Bardi, alongside DNO debutants John Lundgren and Ausrine Stundyte as Simone and Bianca.

The comic Gianni Schicchi is the best-known work of Puccini’s ‘trittico’ (trilogy), partly because of the popular soprano aria ‘O mio babbino caro’. In Gianni Schicchi, Massimo Cavalletti (Marcello in La bohème and Ford in Falstaff) is singing the shrewd title role, and the role of his daughter Lauretta is sung by Mariangela Sicilia (Benvenuto Cellini). At the deathbed of the rich Buoso Donati, his family is only concerned with the inheritance. In the end, an outsider, Gianni Schicchi, fools the whole family and takes the legacy for himself.

Director Jan Philipp Gloger, who opened last season with Der Rosenkavalier, takes a different approach to the two operas, which is reflected in the sets designed by Raimund Orfeo Voigt. At the end, however, it appears that the two worlds of Eine florentinische Tragödie and Gianni Schicchi have more similarities than differences. Material things are always an important motive, wherever you are.

In his first production of the season, principal conductor Marc Albrecht is returning with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra to the repertoire of the first decades of the twentieth century, which he holds very dear and in which he specialises. Examples performed with Dutch National Opera are Die Frau ohne Schatten, Elektra, Der Schatzgräber, Gurre-Lieder, Der Rosenkavalier and Wozzeck.