Turandot at the Rome Opera House

Turandot is an opera in 3 acts and 5 scenes, set to a libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, left unfinished by Giacomo Puccini, and posthumously completed by Franco Alfano.

 

Its first performance took place in the context of the opera season of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on April 25, 1926, with Rosa Raisa, Francesco Dominici, Miguel Fleta, Maria Zamboni, Giacomo Rimini, Giuseppe Nessi and Aristide Baracchi under the direction of Arturo Toscanini, who stopped the performance in the middle of the third act, two lines after the verse "Dormi, oblia, Liù, poesia!" (Liu's death). This was in fact the last page completed by the author. According to some testimonies, Toscanini addressed the audience with these words: "Here the opera ends, because at this point the Maestro died".


The incompleteness of this opera is the subject of discussion among scholars. There are those who argue that Turandot remained unfinished not because of the inexorable illness that afflicted the author, but because of his inability, or rather the intimate impossibility, to interpret that final triumph of love that had initially thrilled and pushed him towards this subject. The crux of the drama, which Puccini tried in vain to solve, is the transformation of the cold and bloody princess Turandot into a woman in love. The great master left this issue to "posterity".

 

Turandot will be performed from March 25 to April 5 at the Rome Opera House. The staging of direction, scenes and costumes is entrusted to a great artistic figure who has emerged in recent years: Ai Weiwei, who will try his hand for the first time in a theatrical direction. The artist says he chose this opera for two reasons: the first is that Turandot, with its narrative nodes and covered topics, reflects many contemporary aspects related to society and politics; the second is that in the 1930s he worked as an extra precisely in this opera in New York.

The direction of Turandot is entrusted to Alejo Pérez, already applauded by the public of Costanzi in different performances of the historical twentieth century. He will be able to highlight all the musical innovations and nuances present in Puccini's writing. Anna Pirozzi shares the role of the princess with Ewa Vesin, Calaf is played by Gregory Kunde (alternating with Arsen Soghomonyan, Altoum Carlo Bosi, Timur Antonio Di Matteo (alternating with Marco Spotti), Liù is played by Francesca Dotto, well known at Costanzi (alternating with Adriana Ferfecka). Other interpreters are Alessio Verna (Ping), Francesco Pittari (Pang), Pietro Picone (Pong) and, from the “Fabbrica” YAP project, Andrii Ganchuk and Domingo Pellicola.

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