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Roles of Zita in Giacomo Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and the Sorceress in Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas Fynn, Jeanine Rosanne

Abstract

My thesis is the performance of two operatic roles: Zita in Giacomo Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, performed on March 7 and 9, 2002, and the Sorceress in Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, performed on March 8 and 10, 2002. Gianni Schicchi is derived from a section of Dante's Inferno, dealing with the death of Buoso Donati and the greed of his surviving relatives. Zita is cousin to Buoso and aunt to Rinuccio, one of the lovers. She is part of the family ensemble, which is onstage for almost the entire opera - a very unusual occurrence in opera. After Buoso's death, Zita becomes the commandatore of the family, a comic mezzo-soprano character role that remains bitter and greedy until she and the family are chased offstage. Dido and Aeneas is based on Virgil's The Aeneid, and deals with Dido, the queen of Carthage, in her relationship with, and loss of, Aeneas. The Sorceress, an evil mezzosoprano role, who carries herself as if she were queen, plots disaster for both Dido and her lover, and oversees the queen's subsequent death. I am entering both roles combined as my thesis because they were performed in the same run of a double bill with the UBC Opera Ensemble. The two roles differ in character and musical style, creating a nice juxtaposition for my thesis.

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