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Turandot at Wiener Staatsoper
13 Aprile 2018 Ore 20:00 - 20 Aprile 2018 Ore 20:00
With Turandot, Puccini wrote his last opera; it remained a fragment. The story of Turandot dates back to at least the 12th century and comes from Persia. It reached Europe in the 18th century, where it was enthusiastically received and adapted. Puccini started working on the opera in 1920. He discovered seven original Chinese melodies which appear in the work, in part in leitmotif form. The première of the opera took place in 1926 at La Scala Milano. Turandot received its Austrian première at the Wiener Staatsoper six months after the world première. The opera has been performed over 300 times since then. The current production has been created by Marco Arturo Marelli, and the première took place on April 28th, 2016.
The mandarin proclaims the law: Turandot will only marry the man who can solve three riddles that she poses. But whoever fails must die – a fate that has befallen many, most recently a Persian prince. The “unknown” Prince Calaf, who has seen the beautiful but cruel Princess Turandot, is spellbound by her – and determines to take the risk. Before he can do so, he encounters his father, the banished Tartar King Timur, who is accompanied by Liù, a slave.
She in turn is in love with Calaf…
Ping, Pang and Pong report on life in China and complain: since Turandot has been posing her riddles, their tranquil life has ended and they have been reduced to “ministers of the executioner”. Despite all advice to the contrary, Calaf accepts the challenge of answering Turandot’s questions. And he learns the reason for her inhumanity: once, in the dim and distant past, her ancestor Lou-Ling was robbed and raped – and these deeds must now be avenged and expiated. Calaf is able to solve the riddles; against her will, Turandot must now become his wife. But Calaf wishes win her affections, and so places himself at her mercy. So he now puts a riddle to her; if she can solve it, it will mean his death (and her freedom): What is his name?
In spite of all their efforts, no one can find out the name of the prince. Then Liù and Timur, who were seen talking to Calaf, are brought in. In order to protect Timur and out of love for Calaf, pretending to be the only person who knows the prince’s name, Liù kills herself. Love finally wins the day. Although Calaf has revealed his true name to her and placed his fate in her hands, Turandot declares that the name of the unknown prince is “Love”…