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(Puccini: Il tabarro). Bar. Husband of Giorgetta. Owner of a barge on the river Seine. He is assisted by three stevedores, one of whom, Luigi, unbe-known to Michele, is Giorgetta's lover. Michele cannot understand why Giorgetta rejects his overtures—when he tries to put his arms round her, she offers her cheek to be kissed. Since the death of their only child they have grown apart and Michele is anxious to renew their old relationship. He becomes suspicious, and when she goes below to go to bed he remains on deck. He watches her through a window and wonders why she has remained dressed and for whom she is waiting. He lights his pipe, unwittingly giving Luigi the signal (the lighted match) that all is clear. Hearing someone approach, Michele hides, pouncing on the visitor. It is Luigi, and with his hands on the stevedore's throat Michele forces him to confess his relationship with Giorgetta, then strangles him and hides him under his cloak. When Giorgetta appears and asks to be warmed under her husband's cloak, he throws it back, revealing her dead lover. Aria: Nulla! … Silenzio! (‘Nothing!…Silence!’). Created (1918) by Luigi Montesanto.

Subjects: Opera.

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