Since the emergence of COVID-19, San Diego Opera has continued to closely monitor the recommendations of public health and government officials and realizes that a traditional season in a traditional theatre is impossible to contemplate right now. Because of this, we are currently reviewing options to present opera safely in our community while preserving the health of both our audience and artists. Please check back shortly for more information about our safe, socially-distant, offerings this season. Thank you.


by Giacomo Puccini

At the San Diego Civic Theatre

Presented together for the first time ever by San Diego Opera, two one-acts, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi make for a perfect Puccini pairing! The heart-breaking Suor Angelica, which has never been performed by San Diego Opera, tells the story of a young noblewoman who bears a child out of wedlock and is sent to a convent for penance. A visit from her aunt, The Princess, sets in motion a series of dire actions that ultimately result in tragedy, forgiveness, and peace. In contrast, Puccini’s only comedy, Gianni Schicchi, is a tale of family dysfunction, human desire and material possession. Gianni Schicchi is based on a true story from Dante’s Inferno and includes the famous and much-loved aria “O mio babbino caro.”

SDO favorite Stephanie Blythe makes a welcome return singing the role of the Principessa in Suor Angelica, and makes a daring debut as Gianni Schicchi, a role traditionally sung by a baritone, and in doing so makes opera history. She will be joined by soprano Marina Costa-Jackson performing the title role of Suor Angelica and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi in her Company debut.

Sung in Italian with projected English translations.
PRE-OPERA LECTURE: The pre-opera lecture begins at 6:40pm before the new start time of 7:30pm for evening performances. The Sunday matinee pre-opera lecture begins at 1:10pm before the 2:00pm curtain.
MAIN STAGE POST-OPERA TALK-BACKS: Stay after the performance for a Talk-Back. Once the curtain falls, there will be a 10-minute break, then join us back in the theatre in the Dress Circle where you can ask questions of the stars, cast, and find out what really happens onstage and backstage!

Print Synopsis


Set in Italy at the end of the 17th century Suor Angelica is the tragic tale of a Florentine noblewoman who bears a child out of wedlock and is sent to a convent to repent for her sins. Angelica’s Aunt, The Princess, visits, her first visitor in seven years. She asks frantically for news of her son. The Aunt’s response is devastating. Two years previously, he was stricken with a mortal sickness, and nothing could save him. Sister Angelica is seized by a heavenly vision – believes she hears her son calling for her to meet him in paradise. She makes a poison and drinks it, but realizes that suicide is a mortal sin and has damned herself to eternal separation from her son. Praying for forgiveness she dies with a vision of her son greeting her in heaven.


Wealthy Florentine Buoso Donati is dead and his greedy relatives discover that he has left his fortune to the church. His nephew, Rinuccio suggests that his girlfriend’s father can help them. Enter Gianni Schicchi, a shrewd, self-made man with his daughter, Lauretta. Reading the will, Schicchi devises a plan. The relatives send for the notary and Schicchi, disguised as the Buosi, wearing his nightshirt and cap, dictates a new will from his “sickbed”, in which he leaves the greater part of the estate, including Buoso’s house, to his “dear friend Gianni Schicchi.” The relatives are furious, and stealing what they can from the house, are chased out by Schicchi who remains with the happy lovers, Rinuccio and Lauretta. Given their happiness, he turns to the audience and pleads that he not be judged too harshly.