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Role of Nella in Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi Martin, Shauna-Lee

Abstract

This Master's Thesis for the Master of Music (Opera) was the presentation of the role of NELLA in Puccini's GIANNI SCHICCHI, performed March 9 and 10, 2002 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. The role of NELLA is that of one of the greedy relatives of the now deceased BUOSO DONATI, a pious Italian gentleman of considerable fortune, who has left all of his money to the church rather than his relatives. NELLA is a niece of BUOSO. NELLA is approximately 35, shrewish and greedy, with a taste for the finer things in life. The greed of the entire family is used by the title character, GIANNI SCHICCHI, to rob them of the choicer pieces of property - the mills at Signa, a mule worth 30 florins, and the house of BUOSO DONATI. SCHICCHI pretends to be BUOSO and changes the will to benefit the relatives, but at the last moment leaves the best items to himself, and the relatives can do nothing as they will have their hands cut off for forgery if they are caught. NELLA is a high soprano role, which can also be sung by a dramatic soprano, as Puccini's orchestration requires a sizable voice with easy access to the top. My voice type is dramatic coloratura, which is a combination of agility, dark colour, large size and extreme registers, so this role is ideally suited for me vocally.

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