Gianni Schicchi/Zanetto

Critics' choice
This double bill, directed by Martin Lloyd-Evans, opens with Mascagni's first opera, in which an encounter between a beautiful courtesan (played by Janice Watson) and a young wandering minstrel (played by Patricia Orr) leads to love, sacrifice and pain. Then Alan Opie plays the title role in the first OHP production of Puccini's one-act comedy. The third and final part of 'Il trittico', whose most famous moment is the aria 'O mio babbino caro', tells the story of a man found in one of the lower circles of Dante's Inferno: a Florentine parvenu who agrees to help out the noble Donati family when they have a spot of trouble with their rich, departed relation's will...but Schicchi has his own agenda, as well as a daughter who wants to marry one of the Donatis. Manlio Benzi conducts the City of London Sinfonia.