Synopsis: Gianni Schicchi

from Giacomo Puccini

Buoso Donati has just died, surrounded by his relatives, who have heard that he has left all his money to the monks. They search for the will and Rinuccio, who finds it, refuses to hand it over till his Aunt Zita promises to let him marry Lauretta, daughter of Gianni Schicchi. He sends for Schicchi and when they have read the will and found their fears to be true, tells them that only Schicchi has the ingenuity to save them.
Although they resent Schicchi as an upstart, when he arrives with Lauretta they beg him to help them. Resenting their attitude, he only agrees when Lauretta appeals to him, since her happiness depends on it. Since no one outside the family knows that Buoso is dead, Schicchi disguises himself as Buoso, summons a lawyer and dictates a will. The relatives all have particular properties in mind and he leaves each one as requested, but reserves for himself the prize items of the house, a mule and the mill at Signa.
The furious relatives are powerless to stop him, as he reminds them that the penalty for falsifying a will is having the right hand chopped off and banishment from Florence.
He chases them away, except for Rinuccio, who remains with Lauretta. Schicchi addresses the audience, begging its indulgence for his sins since it has produced such a happy result.