Turandot

PREMIERE
GIACOMO PUCCINI
TURANDOT

2 hours 40 minutes with one intermission
Opera in three acts
Libretto by G. Adami and R. Simoni 

DIRECTOR: Dmitry Bertman
MUSICAL DIRECTOR AND CONDUCTOR: Vladimir Fedoseyev
DESIGNER: Camellia Koo
LIGHTING DESIGNER: Thomas Hase

Opera is an art of mysteries. Every story is a real conundrum! So did Puccini prove himself and put three riddles in the opera "Turandot". In order to solve the puzzle welcome to "Helikon-Opera"! The premiere took place in the context of the largest in the history international theatre project "Eurasian Opera". "Turandot" was created by an international team: Art Director is a famous Chinese artist and stage designer Camellia Koo, Lighting Designer is an American Thomas Hase who designed a lot of productions for European and American opera houses, as well as for Broadway musicals. The main sensation was the news that People's Artist of the USSR Vladimir Fedoseyev, who had never conducted a Russian opera before would take the responsibility for the music part.

Helikon's "Turandot" immediately became a subject of heated discussions. Discussions of the interpretation, of the directors’ refusal from the alternative endings and of the image of the main character. "Turandot" was the first performance of the works of the great Puccini on the theatre stage, and it instantly had a huge success! “Turandot” in "Helikon-Opera” is incredibly beautiful! Dmitry Bertman has really unraveled this terrible story, moving away from the traditional and pretentious young lady of eastern origin," says People's Artist of the USSR Alla Pugacheva. "I don't always like contemporary opera stagings, but in this one there is a thought, there is a sense, there is peculiar perspective, and it's interesting to me," says Irina Viner, President of the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation. According to a music critic Valery Kichin, "An unusually beautiful, powerful, dynamic and perfectly created perfomance is now available to watch here in Moscow." The list of reviews is almost endless.

In the meantime... "People of Beijing! Listen to the royal decree! Princess Turandot will only marry the one who will solve her three riddles..."

What will win – love or revenge? And again we enjoy the incredibly beautiful moon, and again we suffer with dedicated Liu, and again with a pounding heart we wait for Calaf to sing his famous Nessun Dorma... The ending will surprise everyone. Puccini is a master of asking riddles. And we are full of surprises.

The project was implemented with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Russia and the Department of Culture of Moscow.
 

SYNOPSIS
Act I

Mandarin proclaims that the Princess Turandot will become the wife of the Prince able to guess her three riddles, and the one who is mistaken will lose his head. On rising of the moon the crowd is waiting for the execution of the unfortunate Prince of Persia. In the mess suddenly a long-lost exiles face each other, they are the deposed Tartar king, Timur, accompanied by a faithful slave girl Liu, and his son, Prince Calàf. Turandot appears. Beauty of the Princess captivates Calaf. As a sign of determination to win her hand the Prince thrice strikes the Gong.
Three Ministers — Ping, Pong, and Pang lament the fate of China and its fate. The country knows no peace for the long time because of Turandot, who hates all men. The Emperor Altoum does not want to see the death of another young man, but Calaf demands to start the test. Even the threats of Turandot cannot stop him. Calaf guesses the three riddles. The Princess begs her father not to give her to a stranger, but the Emperor is bound by the sacred oath. Calaf is determined to win the love of a proud Princess and gives the word: if Turandot learns his name before sunrise, he is ready to die.
Act II
No one in Beijing is asleep. Turandot has ordered to find out the name of a stranger before morning starts. The guards seize Timur and Liu, who have talked with an unknown one the day before. Trying to save Timur from torture, Liù declares: she is the only one who knows the name, but she will keep the secret as she loves the Prince a lot. Liu kills herself. The crowd joins Timur, mourning her death. Calaf and Turandot face each other for the first time…

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