Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


twitter_logo[1].gif



9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Repertoire

Das Liebesverbot, Vienna 1962

Das Liebesverbot: Grosse komische Oper in two acts.

Lohengrin, Bayreuth 2010 Live

Opera in three acts. Words and music by Richard Wagner.

Parsifal, Bayreuth 2012 Live

Parsifal. Bühnenweihfestspiel (“stage dedication play”) in three acts.

Music from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“German poet, dramatist and novelist. One of the most important literary and cultural figures of his age, he was recognized during his lifetime for his accomplishments of almost universal breadth. However, it is his literary works that have most consistently sustained his reputation, and that also serve to demonstrate most clearly his many-faceted relationship to music. . . .

Operas based on the works of Friedrich von Schiller

This theme relates to operas based on the works of Friedrich von Schiller.

Operas Based on French Literature

Here are operas based on French literature from Balzac, Hugo and beyond:

Jules Massenet: Le Cid

Le Cid, Opéra in 4 acts

Vincenzo Bellini: I puritani

I puritani, opera seria in three acts

Vincenzo Bellini: Zaira

Zaira, Tragedia lirica in two acts.

G. F. Handel: Athalia

Athalia: Oratorio (sacred drama) in 3 acts

DONIZETTI: Lucrezia Borgia

Lucrezia Borgia: Melodramma in a prologue and two acts.

BERTIN: La Esmeralda

La Esmeralda: Opéra in four acts.

VERDI: Ernani — Florence 1957

Ernani: Dramma lirico in four parts.

von Waltershausen: Oberst Chabert

Oberst Chabert (Colonel Chabert): Tragic opera in 3 acts.

VERDI: Otello — La Scala 1954

Otello: Dramma lirico in four acts.
Music composed by Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto by Arrigo Boito after The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice by William Shakespeare.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a comedy in five acts with incidental music.

HAHN: Le Marchand de Venise

Le Marchand de Venise (“The Merchant of Venice”): Opéra in three acts.

STORACE: Gli Equivoci

Gli Equivoci (The Comedy of Errors): Opera in two acts.

MARTIN: Der Sturm

Der Sturm: Opera in three acts

PURCELL: The Fairy-Queen

The Fairy-Queen: Semi-opera in five acts.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Repertoire

Giacomo Puccini: Turandot
22 Oct 2006

PUCCINI: Turandot

Turandot, dramma lirico in three acts.

Giacomo Puccini: Turandot

Gertrude Grob-Prandl (Turandot), Karl Terkal (Calaf), Lotte Rysanek (Liù), Josef Grendl (Timur), Eberhard Waechter (Ping), Peter Klein (Pang), Murray Dickie (Pong), Chor und Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper, Mario Rossi (cond.)
Live performance, 6 March 1956, Vienna (Sung in German)

 

Music composed by Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924). Libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni based on Turandot, Prinzessin von China (1802), Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller's adaptation of Turandotte (1762) by Carlo Gozzi.

First Performance: 25 April 1926, Teatro alla Scala, Milan.

Principal Characters:
Princess Turandot Soprano
The Emperor Altoum, her father Tenor
Timur, the dispossessed King of Tartary Bass
Calaf, the son of Timur Tenor
Liù, a young slave-girl Soprano
Ping, Grand Chancellor Baritone
Pang, General Purveyor Tenor
Pong, Chief Cook Tenor
A Mandarin Baritone
The Prince of Persia Silent role
The Executioner (Pu-Tin-Pao) Silent role

Setting: Peking in the distant past.

Synopsis:

A Mandarin announces that any prince seeking to marry the Princess Turandot must first answer three riddles. If he fails, he must die. The latest suitor, the Prince of Persia, is to be executed at the moon's rising. In the crowd is Timur, banished King of Tartary, who is reunited with his son, Calaf, who he thought died in a battle. The Prince of Persia passes on his way to the scaffold and the crowd calls upon the Princess to spare him. Turandot bids that the execution proceed. As the death cry is heard, Calaf, transfixed by the beauty of the Princess, strides towards the gong that announces a new suitor. Turandot's ministers, Ping, Pang and Pong, try to discourage Calaf. Timur and Liù (who is in love with Calaf) also beg him to reconsider, but he strikes the gong and calls Turandot's name.

Ping, Pang and Pong lament Turandot's bloody reign, hoping that love will conquer her icy heart and peace will return. They think longingly of their distant country homes, but the noise of the populace gathering to hear Turandot question the new challenger brings them back to reality.

The people, eager for another execution, have gathered in the square. The Emperor asks Calaf to reconsider, but he refuses. Turandot describes how her ancestor was dishonoured and killed by a conquering prince; the cruel trial her suitors have to undergo is revenge for that crime. Turandot asks Calaf three riddles, which he answers correctly. Turandot begs her father not to give her to the stranger, but to no avail. Calaf, hoping to win her love, offers Turandot a challenge: if she can learn his name by dawn, he will forfeit his life.

Calaf hears a proclamation: on pain of death, no one in Peking shall sleep until Turandot learns the stranger's name. Ping, Pang and Pong try unsuccessfully to bribe him to learn his secret. As the mob threatens him, soldiers drag in Liù and Timur. Calaf tries to convince the mob that neither knows his secret. Liù declares that she alone knows but will never tell. She is tortured, but remains silent. Impressed by such endurance, Turandot asks Liù's secret: "Love" replies Liù. Fearing that she will weaken under torture Liù seizes a dagger and kills herself. The crowd, fearful of her dead spirit, forms a funeral procession. Left alone with Turandot, Calaf first reproaches her for her coldness and cruelty, then kisses her. Feeling emotion for the first time, Turandot weeps. Now sure of his victory, Calaf reveals his identity. Before the assembled crowd, Turandot announces the stranger's name: it is Love. As Calaf embraces her, the court hails the power of love and life.

[Synopsis Source: Opera Australia]

Click here for the complete libretto.

Click here for the complete libretto (German translation).

Click here for the complete libretto (English translation).

Click here for the complete text of Turandot, Prinzessin von China.

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):