The plot starts with the relatives of the late Don Buoso gathered to learn of their respective inheritances. There are rumours that he left the family in the lurch and bequeathed the largest part of his immense fortune to a monastery. Bypassing Don Buoso’s will thus suggests itself as a natural solution … Is everything really as funny as Puccini indicates by his humorous, rollicking and brilliant music, teeming with his characteristic melodies, including the famed aria “O mio babbino caro”? What kind of people are the relatives of the deceased man?
And what was Buoso Donati like? Are Puccini’s characters just colourful figures from medieval Florence, or are we much more similar to them than we may think? And didn’t Dante overlook someone else in Hell, someone having a hand in the story? Such questions inspired the distinguished Czech stage director David Radok to create a brand-new, darkly comic opera, set at the time preceding Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and depicting the possible circumstances of Don Buoso’s death … He and the composer Jan Kučera have written for the National Theatre in Prague a piece whose story and music derive from Puccini’s renowned one-acter, while shifting the narrative into a rather different light.