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Sept. 20, 2010

Contact Dan Johnson-Wilmot at 608-796-3761 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Viterbo University will present Giacomo Puccini’s comedic opera Gianni Schicchi Friday, Oct. 1–Sunday, Oct. 3 in the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall.

Set in Florence, Italy in 1299, Gianni Schicchi is described as an “irresistibly tuneful tale of a greedy family given their comeuppance by a wily rouge.” When Buoso Donati dies in bed, his family mourns melodramatically until they discover that he has left his wealth to the friars of the local monastery. Gianni Schicchi, who is known for his clever schemes, is summoned by the Donati family. He then devises a clever plot to re-write the will.

“Audience members will find this opera to be very entertaining,” said Dan Johnson-Wilmot, Viterbo music faculty member and musical co-director of this production. “It is a very funny story, and it is a great way to get acquainted with opera.”

This production will be performed in English, and features some “very fine singers,” said Johnson-Wilmot, who is joined by musical co-director and accompanist David Richardson, stage director Ken Risch, and stage manager Ione Peterson. It features students Audra Fuchsel and Aidan Smerud.

Gianni Schicchi was first performed at the Metropolitan Opera in 1918, with the two other operas that comprise Il Trittico. It premiered in Rome in 1919.

Performance times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1–2 and 2 p.m. Oct. 3. Long-time faculty member Cyrilla Barr will give a lecture on the opera 45 minutes before each performance. Tickets are $8 for general admission seating. For more information, contact the Viterbo box office at 608-796-3100 or

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