Gianni Schicchi Press Release
ON SITE OPERA BRINGS AUDIENCES INTO THE OPULENT HOME OF THE DONATI FAMILY IN THEIR SITE-SPECIFIC PRODUCTION OF PUCCINI’S GIANNI SCHICCHI THIS APRIL
A Diverse Cast Brings High-jinks and Hilarity to an Opera Favorite
NEW YORK, March 7, 2022 – On Site Opera, New York’s pioneering opera company rooted in site specific storytelling and the immersive experience, announces their production of Giacomo Puccini’s comedy Gianni Schicchi, April 7-10 at The Prince George Ballroom. The first in-person event of their 10th anniversary season, this will be performed as part of a multi-season presentation of Puccini’s complete Il Trittico to include productions of Il Tabarro (The Cloak) and Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica) over the next few years in different and unique locations.
Welcoming back live audiences and a twenty-piece orchestra for this site-specific production, the grand Prince George Ballroom is transformed into the opulent home of the deceased Buoso Donati. There the family mourns the passing of their patriarch and impatiently waits to read his will and inherit his great fortune. In this hysterical farce, the mood shifts to anger when the relatives discover that they have been disinherited and call upon the scheming and ingenious Gianni Schicchi to help them re-write the will. In a series of hilarious hijinks, secret deals, and one ridiculous plan, Schicchi leaves with his pockets full but his fate sealed!
Puccini’s comic masterpiece is an ensemble tour-de-force that also includes one his most celebrated arias: “O mio babbino caro” sung by Cuban soprano Laura León as Lauretta. John Riesen will sing Lauretta’s lover Rinuccio, and Luis Ledesma will sing the title role. The Donati family will be performed by Jay Lucas Chacon (Betto), Alexandria Crichlow (La Ciesca), Patrice P. Eaton (Zita), Jonathan R. Green (Marco), Michael Kuhn (Gherardo), David Langan (Simone), Christine Lyons (Nella), and Savannah McElhaney (Gherardino), and Martin Pfefferkorn (Buoso). David Kahng (Pinellino) and Brian McQueen (Spinelloccio/Amantio) round out the cast. Eric Einhorn directs and Geoffrey McDonald conducts.
“We are so excited to explore this classic and familiar score in a new and exciting way,” notes Eric Einhorn, General and Artistic Director of On Site Opera. “The art deco ballroom is the perfect venue for this updated telling. This production allows us to return to the immersive storytelling that has always been a hallmark of our work, as well as remain committed to our core values that include bringing together artists from all backgrounds and identities. With this production, we honor opera’s past while looking energetically towards its future.”
The production will be sung in Italian, with English and Spanish translations via On Site Opera’s official mobile app.
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE and VENUE INFORMATION
Gianni Schicchi will be performed at the Prince George Ballroom:
Thursday, April 7th at 7pm
Friday, April 8th at 7pm
Saturday, April 9th at 2pm
Saturday, April 9th at 7pm
Sunday, April 10th at 7pm
The Prince George Ballroom is located 15 E 27th Street, between 5th and Madison Avenues in Manhattan’s Flatiron District. The Ballroom is accessible by the N, R, 4 and 6 trains.
Tickets are $50 and available at https://osopera.org/productions/gianni-schicchi/
All guests must provide proof of full immunization (including booster, if eligible) against Covid-19 along with government identification before entering the premises. Masks must be worn by all guests at all times while inside the building.
The Prince George Ballroom is owned and operated by Breaking Ground, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides affordable housing for homeless and low-income New Yorkers. 100% of net proceeds from ballroom events support this mission.
ABOUT ON SITE OPERA
Founded in 2012, New York City-based On Site Opera is the country’s leading presenter of site-specific operas in non- traditional venues. Rooted in collaboration and storytelling, On Site Opera celebrates the connection between artist and audience through highly curated experiences led by exciting opera artists and bold and innovative creative teams. Each On Site Opera production invites New Yorkers to explore their city in new and unique ways, while cultivating a new generation of opera audiences. To date, OSO has produced 19 operas in as many unique locations to critical acclaim, including the Bronx Zoo, Harlem’s historic Cotton Club, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the American Museum of Natural History, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Committed to exploring new technology to make opera more accessible, OSO was the first opera company to employ Google Glass supertitles, and the company has currently developed its own mobile app for multi-language translations and digital program information.
Following extended COVID-related theater closures in 2020, On Site Opera was recognized as a leading organization in reimagining opera, bringing productions to audiences around the world through the telephone, by mail, and online in inventive and creative productions.
This performance is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.