29 Apr 2018

PUCCINI: Turandot

From Opera On Sunday, 6:00 pm on 29 April 2018

 

Sunday 29 April at 6.00pm on RNZ Concert

Metropolitan Opera 2018 Season

A scene from Turandot at The Metropolitan Opera

A scene from Turandot at The Metropolitan Opera Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

PUCCINI: Turandot

A grand spectacle of legendary China

Turandot...................... Martina Serafin

Liu............................... Guanqun Yu

Calaf............................ Marcelo Álvarez

Timur........................... Alexander Tsymbalyuk

Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Marco Armiliato (EBU)

Puccini’s final opera is an epic fairy tale set in a China of legend, loosely based on a play by 18th-century Italian dramatist Carlo Gozzi. Featuring a most unusual score with an astounding and innovative use of chorus and orchestra, it is still recognizably Puccini, bursting with instantly appealing melody.

The unenviable task of completing the opera’s final scene upon Puccini’s sudden death was left to the composer Franco Alfano. Conductor Arturo Toscanini oversaw Alfano’s contribution and led the world premiere.

A scene from Turandot at The Metropolitan Opera

A scene from Turandot at The Metropolitan Opera Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

The large Turandot orchestra calls for a wide variety of instruments, including alto saxophones, celesta, bass xylophone, harps, and an organ. There are several genuine Chinese themes that are integrated into the score in a suave and brilliantly original manner, including the big imperial anthem in Act II.

The opera also contains moments of sheer melodic beauty in Puccini’s most lyrical vein, most notably in the tenor’s unforgettable song of triumph, “Nessun dorma!,” which opens Act III.

A scene from Turandot at The Metropolitan Opera

A scene from Turandot at The Metropolitan Opera Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

This grand Franco Zeffirelli production was first seen at The Metropolitan Opera in 1987.

Synopsis of Turandot

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