AUGUSTA – PORTopera’s Maine’s Emerging Artists will perform Puccini’s short comic opera, “Gianni Schicchi,” at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 27, in Jewett Hall Auditorium.

A reception will follow the performance to give the members of the audience an opportunity to meet with the artists.

This one-act opera, sung in English, is Puccini’s only comic work. It’s based on an episode in “Dante’s Inferno,” which depicts a real-life swindle by a peasant, Gianni Schicchi, in one of opera’s greatest con jobs. Some consider it to be one of the funniest operas written and one of Puccini’s most witty and delightful works.

The beautiful aria, “O mio babbino caro” (“Oh, my beloved father”) is one of Puccini’s most popular.

This is part of the Third Sundays at Jewett concert series sponsored by the University of Maine at Augusta College of Arts and Humanities and UMA’s Senior College.

Maine’s Emerging Artists Program helps aspiring performers early in their careers.

PORTopera performs fully staged operas with nationally and internationally acclaimed singers. This year’s main-stage production will be a double-bill performance of “Cavalleria Rusticana” by Pietro Mascagni and “Pagliacci” by Ruggiero Leoncavallo. Performances are Thursday, July 29, and Saturday, July 31, at 7:30 p.m. Ticket for that July double bill are available by calling PortTix, (207) 842-0800. More information about the opera company is at www.portopera.org.

“Gianni Schicchi” will also be at Portland Museum of Art on Friday, June 25, at 7:30 p.m. and at The Temple at Ocean Park on Sunday, July 11, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for the “Gianni Schicchi” performance in Augusta are $9 for adults, $5 for students, and children 12 and under, free. Tickets are available at Pat’s Pizza in Augusta, Apple Valley Books in Winthrop and at the door.

For more information or for mail-order tickets, people can call 621-3551 or e-mail [email protected]


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