Double the Puccini, Double the Star Power


Double the Puccini, Double the Star Power

Opera Memphis Brings Masterpieces and International Opera Stars to the MidSouth


Opera Memphis presents a Puccini Double Bill: Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi bringing two Giacomo Puccini masterpieces and international opera stars Kelly Kaduce and Todd Thomas to GPAC. For this Valentine’s Day weekend, both pieces - whether tales of spiritual redemption or of farcical greed and conniving - explore themes of family and what it compels us to do. Performances take place February 14 & 15 at 7:30PM, and tickets can be purchased by calling the Opera Memphis Box Office at 901.257.3100 or online at

Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi both premiered as a part of Puccini’s Il Trittico, his only work to premiere in America, in 1918. Suor Angelica follows the story of a young woman, hidden away in a convent by her family after she gave birth to a child out of wedlock. For the love of her child, she has dutifully remained there until a fateful meeting with the family matriarch forces her to make an impossible choice. This will be the premiere performance of Suor Angelica for Opera Memphis as they add it to their extensive repertoire of Puccini classics.


"I was a bit surprised to learn that Opera Memphis had never performed Suor Angelica,” says OM General Director and CEO, Ned Canty.  “Its music is among Puccini’s most elegant, and I think its themes of religion, family and sacrifice will resonate deeply with our audience.”


While Angelica may tug at your heartstrings, Gianni Schicchi will tickle your funny bone. Based on an episode in Dante’s epic poem Inferno, it tells the tale of an Italian family whose wealthy patriarch, Buoso Donati, has just died. To the family’s horror, Donati has left all of his wealth and possessions to a local monastery and not a penny to his relatives. Distraught and desperate, the family asks the renowned schemer, Gianni Schicchi, to concoct a plan and get them out of this mess. For the love of his daughter (and maybe his own pocketbook), Schicchi agrees to help.


As with every Opera Memphis performance, the cast features a roster of internationally acclaimed singers. Opera Memphis favorites like Phyllis Pancella, Darren K. Stokes, Philip Himebook, and Amanda Quinn return to the stage to join Handorf Company Artists Tahanee Aluwihare and Jake Stamatis for their debut mainstage performances with Opera Memphis. 

Making his Memphis debut is baritone Todd Thomas (pictured above), singing the titular role of Gianni Schicchi. With a resume that covers opera houses across the globe, Thomas has been acclaimed by critics and audiences alike for his comic mastery, powerful voice and thrilling high notes. 


A second welcome addition to the Opera Memphis family is soprano Kelly Kaduce (pictured below), praised by the New York Times for her lustrous voice, and declared by Opera News to be “the finest actress on the operatic stage today.”  Winner of the1999 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Kaduce will be performing the titular role in Suor Angelica and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi.


Puccini Double Bill: Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi takes the stage at Germantown Performing Arts Center Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15 at 7:30PM. All performances in Italian with live English translation. 

For tickets and more information call the Opera Memphis Box Office at 901.257.3100 or CLICK HERE

Posted by Jillian Barron at 08:00