Love, passion, hatred, revenge and sacrifice – these are the elements of Puccini's final and grandest opera, Turandot. Singapore Lyric Opera's forthcoming production of Turandot will invoke a surreal realm of existence juxtaposed by powerful human emotions. The story was taken from the Persian legend of an icy Chinese princess, Turandot, who refused to let any man have her. Princes from afar asking for her hand were put to death, having failed to answer her three impossible riddles. An exiled prince finally appeared, solving the riddles and won over the heart of the proud princess with his love.
Sung In Italian With English And Chinese Surtitles
A TRIBUTE TO GIACOMO PUCCINI
During a brief visit to Milan in the spring of 1920, Puccini met with Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, the two talented writers whom the publishing house of Ricordi had engaged as librettists for the next opera to be composed by the master.
The three had been searching for a suitable subject since the completion of Il Trittico two years earlier. Numerous projects had been considered and discarded. Puccini told his collaborators that he was no longer interested in setting music to conventional melodramas, and that his thoughts were now directed towards some fantastic, fairy-tale subject which was at the same time human and moving.
It was Simoni who suggested that they looked for such a subject in the works of Carlo Gozzi, an 18th century Venetian playwright who had successfully developed a unique style derived from exotic fairy-tales, ancient fables and traditional mask comedies. He gave Puccini a copy of Gozzi's Turandotte, which he believed would meet the composer's demands for something fantastic, remote and unreal, but interpreted with human feeling and presented in modern colours.
Simoni was right. Puccini soon decided that his next opera would be Turandot, a work destined to be his greatest, finest and technically most advanced masterpiece, which he was unable to finish when death intervened on 29 November 1924. He left 23 sheets of annotated sketches for Franco Alfano to complete the crucial love duet and the jubilant finale... Read More