Il trittico, Puccini


Wale Millennium Centre

Sir David McVicar’s no-nonsense staging of Puccini’s Il trittico, first seen to great acclaim with Scottish Opera, has been transported to Wales Millennium Centre for a fascinating if long evening.

There were plenty of empty seats in the house which does not auger well for a company whose chorus members were leafleting the audience outside to help maintain their jobs as full-time. But maybe that was partly due to Taylor Swift being in town and we have learned Cardiff is a zoo when there is a show at the rugby ground.

This was a shame as this was an excellent evening with a good old Puccini melodrama with Il tabarro, soaring emption with Sour Angelica and a bit of fun (with a famous aria) with Gianni Schicchi. The most wonderful singing came from Alexia Voulgaridou as firstly the unfaithful wife Giorgetta in Il tabarro, set in the grimy canal outskirts of Paris and as then the nun who has been condemned toa lief of misery in Sour Angelica, set in a convent. It is also a workhouse for fallen women and presumably their illegitimate children. Gianni Schicchi jumps to 1971, for no real reason, but enables a fun retro look for the trittico designer Charles Edwards. Also sharing two of the three operas is Roland Wood, from the Scottish run, as the rightly jealous husband Michelle in Il tabarro and then the clever, down to earth Gianni Schicchi.

Other notable singing was Giorgetta’s lover, a delightful Luigi of Leonardo Caimi, and Haegee Lee singing a scrumptious “O mio babbino caro” as Lauretta in Schicchi. Tichina Vaughn was the evening’s prize baddie as a heartless Zia Principessa in Sour Angelica and money grabbing Zita in Gianni Schicchi. There was also a fine contribution from Oleksiy Palchykov as a wide-eyed innocent Rinuccio.

The company’s former Music Director Carlo Rizzi was in his element throughout the evening of Puccini soundscapes, characteristic searing emotion, bold drama and radiant, ethereal spirituality.

Until June 22 at WMC. The trio of works returns to Cardiff in the autumn.