An icy-hearted princess, an unknown prince determined to thaw her heart, a compelling legend set against the backdrop of a fairytale-like China... Don’t miss Stefano Poda's new production of Puccini's Turandot, featuring Rebeka Lokar in the title role, Jorge de León as Prince Calaf, and Erika Grimaldi as Liù. The great maestro Gianandrea Noseda leads the production at the head of Turin's Orchestra del Teatro Regio.
“Create for me something that will make the world weep...” So went Puccini’s 1919 instruction to his librettists Adami and Simoni for the writing of Turandot. This was one of many signs that Puccini would go further with this opera than he ever had before, from bringing to life truly fascinating and fatally-flawed characters, to composing a tonally adventurous score that features both chorus and orchestra in truly innovative ways.
In November 1924, Puccini died suddenly of a heart attack before he was able to complete the opera. The subsequent 1926 world premiere in Milan under the direction of Toscanini ended with a now legendary moment: the conductor stopped the orchestra, turned to the audience, and said: “Here the opera ends because at this point the maestro died.” As maestro Noseda put it, “I never understood the exaggerated happy ending [of Franco Alfano’s final scene]. Puccini lingered for three years, before his death, on that moment, which he could not dramaturgically express.” This motivates Noseda’s reasoning behind the current production’s early ending: “...we shall end the opera after Liù’s death with a finale that the audience might, perhaps, find more deeply moving.”
Photo: Jorge de León © Ramella & Giannese / Teatro Regio Torino
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