Giacomo Puccini
Turandot

opera in three acts

Sunday | 15 December 2019|18:00

Age 12+

В партии Лиу – Клаудия Канг (Корея)
В партии Калафа – Томас Пол (Австрия)
Дирижер – Олег Лесун

Dates

Libretto: Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni based on the eponymous play by Carlo Gozzi, the last duet and the finale were completed by Franco Alfano
Musical director: Honoured Artist of Ukraine Viktor Ploskina
Director, author of lighting design concept: recipient of the Francysk Skaryna Medal Mikhail Pandzhavidze
Set designer: Honoured Art Worker of Russia, laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation Igor Grinevich
Chorus master: People's Artist of Belarus, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Nina Lomanovich
Costume designer: Yulia Matskevich
Lighting designer: Sergey Shevchenko
Computer graphics: Pavel Suvorov
Conductor: Aleh Lessoun

Running time: 2 hours 55 minutes with two intervals
Sung in Italian with Russian surtitles
Premiere: 29 April 2013

 

Принцесса Турандот – Екатерина Головлева
Калаф – Томас Пол (Австрия)
Тимур – Андрей Валентий
Лиу – Клаудия Канг (Корея)
Пинг – Владимир Громов
Понг – Янош Нелепа
Панг – Александр Жуков
Император – Виктор Менделев
Мудрецы – Александр Кеда, Александр Краснодубский, Сергей Лазаревич, Андрей Логвинов, Дмитрий Трофимук, Андрей Селютин
Дирижер – Олег Лесун

ACT I

The action takes place in the legendary times in China during the reign of Emperor Altoum.

Minister Ping reads an edict by the walls of the imperial palace in Peking: any prince seeking marriage with Princess Turandot must solve three riddles, and if he fails, he will die. The young Prince of Persia will be executed soon.

The excited crowd rushes to the palace, but guards keep it away. Calàf, the captain of the guard, recognizes his father in the crowd. Their unexpected meeting lacks any joy: old Timur has been divested of the throne and exiled from the native land; his son has to serve the overseas sovereign as a mercenary, keeping his name secret. Timur is accompanied everywhere by the faithful Liù, a slave, who is in unrequited love with Calàf.

Preparations for the execution are in full swing in the square. Night falls. The people await an executor at moonrise. A funeral procession is approaching: the Prince of Persia is being led to execution. The mob’s anger turns into compassion at the sight of the miserable youth; Calàf is astounded at the princess’s hard-heartedness. The sovereign appears finally, and all the people prostrate themselves. Calàf is blinded by the grandeur of her power and beauty. His father’s dissuasion is in vain: Calàf is determined to win Turandot’s love.

All of a sudden Calàf gets discouraged by the ministers, Ping, Pong and Pang, who warn the prince, make fun of him, and call for phantoms of those who have died for their love for Turandot. Liù entreats Calàf to leave as his father and she will hardly bear his death, but Calàf cannot give up the attempt to gain Turandot’s love. At his signal the giant gong is struck three times, announcing Calàf’s decision to participate in the competition.       


ACT II

Ping, Pong and Pang are busy with the organization of the solemn ceremony. The ministers speculate on the fate of the unknown prince who has made up his mind to take part in the competition: will the morning bring marriage or execution? They dream of returning to serene peaceful life in the countryside far from the imperial palace. But more and more madmen enamoured of her seek for trying their luck, and the executioner cuts off more and more heads in honour of the princess. When will they praise the one who will vanquish Turandot and remove ceaseless executions from the country?    

People gather in the square in front of the palace. Emperor Altoum comes, too. He dissuades the prince from the competition. Minister Ping repeats the dreadful conditions of the trial.

The solemn procession is led by Turandot. She is overwhelmed by hatred for males: one day thousands of years ago, a foreign conqueror took advantage of a Chinese princess at this very place, and through centuries her scream echoed in Turandot’s heart. She takes revenge on all strangers for this dishonour. Nobody manages to become her husband: there’ll be three riddles and one death. However, Calàf replies proudly that there’ll be three riddles and one life.

The first riddle is, ‘What is born each night and dies each dawn?’‘It’s hope which attracts to Turandot,’ the prince answers. And sages confirm, ‘The answer to the first riddle is hope, it’s written in the scrolls.’ The second riddle is, ‘What is like a flame, yet is not, that grows cold when life is lost, and burns like the sun when victory is won?’ Embarrassed, Calàf keeps silent. The Emperor, Liù and all the people encourage him, and he finds the solution: it is blood that burns in his veins with love for Turandot. Enraged and unnerved, the princess hurries to deliver the third riddle, ‘Ice which freezes from fire! If you wish to be free, it makes you a slave; if you become its slave, it makes you a king!’ Turandot taunts the prince triumphantly: what kind of ice is it which will set him on fire? But Calàf solves the third riddle, too: it’s Turandot, and the ice of her heart will melt from the flame of his love.

The people praise the winner. Terrified, Turandot begs not to marry her to the foreigner, but the Emperor is adamant: his word is sacrosanct. However, Calàf is reluctant to marry Turandot against her will; he needs victory. Calàf suggests Turandot solving only one riddle by sunrise: no one knows his name in Peking, so let the princess find it out, and he will agree to die.

ACT III

Distant voices of heralds are heard in the city squares: on pain of death, no one in Peking shall sleep – that’s Turandot’s decree; the stranger's name must be learnt by dawn. Meanwhile, Calàf dreams of Turandot’s requited love: the secret will be revealed to her only in his arms, and the rising sun will light up his victory.  

Ping, Pong and Pang try to bribe Calàf with love, riches and, finally, compassion, for all the citizens of Peking will die in torment if Turandot fails to find out his name till the day breaks. Calàf is adamant: let the world be ruined, he will never give up on Turandot.

Infuriated, the mob rushes to the prince. The voices of the guards and sages are heard: Timur and Liù are captured and driven forward. They have been noticed with the stranger, so they must know his name!

Turandot comes, and the interrogation of old Timur begins. Liù affirms that she is the only person who knows the prince’s name, but she will remain silent whatever happens. Impressed by the slave’s bravery, Turandot is eager to learn the source of it. It’s the power of love for which Liù is ready to lay down her life.  

The mob demands that Liù be tortured into revealing the secret. When the executor comes, Liù commits suicide in fear of failing to bear torture.

Calàf is overcome with grief and remorse. Old Timur is mad and fearful in his despair. The people are struck by Liù’s courage and self-sacrifice.

Calàf’s passionate words and kiss win Turandot’s icy heart. The prince discloses his name. In front of the people and in the presence of the Emperor Turandot announces her answer: she chooses love. 

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