A rare Puccini opera production of Il Trittico in Sydney

Puccini il Trittico

Opera Australia is poised to make operatic history next month with the world premiere of a groundbreaking new production of Puccini’s renowned but seldom performed trilogy, Il Trittico.

This remarkable staging, commissioned by OA’s Artistic Director Jo Davies, will feature three of Australia’s most promising young directors – Constantine Costi, Imara Savage, and Shaun Rennie – each bringing their unique vision to one of the operas in the triptych. Il Trittico, a powerful collection of one-act verismo operas, offers a diverse experience that ranges from heart-wrenching tragedy to uproarious comedy, all within a single evening. This event marks the first occasion globally where a main stage production of Il Trittico is crafted by three individual directors, underlining the inventive spirit of this production.

“We are incredibly excited to have these three extraordinary Australian directors animating Puccini’s magnum opus,” said Ms Davies. “This production tackles significant themes with resonant contemporary relevance, from the deep sorrow of losing a loved one to the intricacies of familial and financial entanglements. The genius of Puccini’s storytelling remains as poignant today as it was a century ago, reflecting our enduring human experiences and inspiring audiences to navigate life’s challenges with resilience and hope.”

Constantine Costi will helm Il tabarro, a tale of tense love set on a gritty barge, brought to life by Australian baritone Simon Meadows, soprano Olivia Cranwell, and tenor Viktor Antipenko in his Australian debut. Imara Savage directs the melancholic Suor Angelica, featuring soprano Lauren Fagan as the grieving nun in a convent garden, with OA chorister Angela Hogan and Sydney-born Adele Johnston in supporting roles. Shaun Rennie takes on the satirical Gianni Schicchi, where Simon Meadows leads a comic family dispute over inheritance, and soprano Stacey Alleaume delivers the famed aria ‘O mio babbino caro’.

The production will be accompanied by the Sydney Opera House debut of the acclaimed Russian-American conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya, guiding OA’s Orchestra through Puccini’s expressive and cinematic score. The visually cohesive set and costume designs by multi-award-winning designer Michael Hankin, paired with Verity Hampson’s evocative lighting, promise an immersive experience that accentuates the operas’ realism and timeless relevance.

Puccini’s last completed work, Il Trittico, navigates the multifaceted nature of human relationships and emotions through its three distinct but interconnected narratives. This significant staging by Opera Australia is set to offer an exceptional evening of opera, enriching both long-time aficionados and new audiences with its dynamic and heartfelt storytelling.

Puccini’s Il Trittico will be on from 3 – 19 July 2024 at Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House.

Get tickets at the Opera Australia website