Turiddu, a young villager, has returned from military service to find that while he was gone, his fiancée, Lola, has married Alfio, the prosperous village teamster. In revenge, Turiddu has seduced Santuzza, a young woman in the village. As the opera begins, Lola, overcome by her jealousy of Santuzza, has begun an adulterous affair with Turiddu.
A Sicilian village, c. 1890. Early on Easter morning, Turiddu sings about his former beloved, Lola, now the wife of a wine carter, Alfio. As the town stirs, Santuzza, Turiddu's neglected sweetheart, comes looking for the handsome youth at the tavern of his mother, Lucia. The girl reveals she has been excommunicated, but before she can explain why, Alfio comes by with friends, boasting about his pretty young wife. A religious procession fills the square and enters the church for mass, leaving Santuzza to tell Mamma Lucia that Turiddu has taken up with Lola again. When the old woman has gone to mass, Santuzza confronts Turiddu with his betrayal. Lola passes by, and Turiddu follows her into church. Santuzza hurls a curse after him, then, consumed by jealousy, tells Alfio of Lola's infidelity. Santuzza immediately feels remorse, but the damage is done.
When the mass ends, Turiddu and the villagers drink wine, after which Alfio insults Turiddu, who accepts a challenge to duel with knives in a nearby orchard. He begs his mother to take care of Santuzza if he does not return. As Mamma Lucia and Santuzza wait anxiously, shouts rise in the distance. A woman stumbles in crying Turiddu has been killed.
is a comic opera
in one act by Giacomo Puccini
to an Italian libretto
by Giovacchino Forzano
, composed in 1917–18. The libretto is based on an incident mentioned in Dante's Divine Comedy
. The work is the third and final part of Puccini's Il trittico
(The Triptych)—three one-act operas with contrasting themes, originally written to be presented together. Although it continues to be performed with one or both of the other trittico operas, Gianni Schicchi is now more frequently staged either alone or with short operas by other composers.
Like vultures, family members gather round the bed of the recently deceased aristocrat, Buoso Donati, to mourn his passing, while secretly hoping to inherit his great fortune.
As Buoso Donati lies dead in his curtained four-poster bed, his relatives gather round to mourn his passing but more particularly to learn the contents of his will. Among those present are his cousins Zita and Simone, his poor-relation brother-in-law Betto, and Zita's nephew Rinuccio. Betto mentions a rumour he has heard, that Buoso has left everything to a monastery; this disturbs the others, and precipitates a frantic search for the will. The document is found by Rinuccio, who is confident that his uncle will have left him plenty of money. He withholds the will momentarily, and asks Zita to allow him to marry Lauretta, daughter of Gianni Schicchi, a newcomer to Florence. Zita states that if Buoso has left them rich, he can marry whom he pleases; she and the other relatives are anxious to begin reading the will. A happy Rinuccio sends little Gherardino to fetch Schicchi and Lauretta.
As they read, the relatives' worst fears are soon realised; Buoso has indeed bequeathed his fortune to the monastery. There is an outbreak of woe and indignation.