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Roles of Betto in Giacomo Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and Aeneas in Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas Catana, Elio Patrick

Abstract

This thesis submission includes two very different roles for consideration as my thesis role. They include the role of Betto from Giacomo Puccini's "Gianni Schicchi" an opera based on a portion of Dante's Inferno and Aeneas from Henry Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas" derived from Virgil's The Aeneid. The performances for these one-act operas took place live at The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts between the dates of March 7- 10, 2002. The role of Betto may be considered as the comic role portion of my thesis. In the setting of the opera, he is the poorest of the relations to Buoso Donati who from the top of the show has just died. Betto has arrived to his house for the reading of the will in the hopes of having been left something of value only to find out that he has been left nothing at all. In an attempt to recreate the will in front of a notary, Betto teams up with the other relatives and Gianni Schicchi in their plot for revenge. During the entire performance, Betto leaves nothing to chance and quickly begins to take for himself anything that will fit in his pockets. In the end, when Gianni Schicchi outwits all the relatives, Betto and his relations make off with whatever they can carry as they are thrown out of Buoso's house, which has now become the property of Gianni Schicchi. In contrast, the role of Aeneas is that of the god-like hero who in his devotion to the Empire and the trickery of the evil Sorceress abandons his lover who kills herself in the name of love. Dido, the Queen of Carthage and Aeneas , a warrior are in love and have only just been reunited after Aeneas' return from battle when the evil Sorceress , played by Jeanine Fynn, devises a plan to destroy their relationship, the empire and the Queen's heart. This tragic one-act opera serves as the perfect juxtaposition to Betto and makes up the second component to my combined thesis submission.

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