Giacomo Puccini

Turandot

Sep 23 - Jan 30 Buy Tickets from $25

Christine Goerke, Lise Lindstrom, and Nina Stemme, three of opera’s greatest dramatic sopranos, take turns in the title role of the proud princess of ancient China, whose riddles doom every suitor who seeks her hand. Tenors Marcelo Álvarez and Marco Berti are Calàf, the brave prince who sings “Nessun dorma” and wins her love. Franco Zeffirelli’s golden production is conducted by Paolo Carignani.

Read Full Synopsis
  • Sung In
  • Italian
  • Met Titles In
  • English
  • Italian
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Estimated Run Time
  • 3 hrs 15 mins
  • House Opens
  • Act I 34 mins
  • Intermission 45 mins
  • Act II 47 mins
  • Intermission 29 mins
  • Act III 41 mins
  • Opera Ends
Sep 23 - Jan 30 Buy Tickets from $25

Cast

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TBA

Performing

All Dates
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World premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, April 1926. Met and U.S. premiere: November 16, 1926. Puccini’s final opera is an epic fairy tale set in a China of legend, loosely based on a play by 18th-century Italian dramatist Carlo Gozzi. Featuring a most unusual score with an astounding and innovative use of chorus and orchestra, it is still recognizably Puccini, bursting with instantly appealing melody. The unenviable task of completing the opera’s final scene upon Puccini’s sudden death was left to the composer Franco Alfano. Conductor Arturo Toscanini oversaw Alfano’s contribution and led the world premiere.

Creators

Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) was immensely popular in his own lifetime, and his mature works remain staples in the repertory of most of the world’s opera companies. Franco Alfano (1875–1954) wrote nine operas, of which Cyrano de Bergerac (1936) is still occasionally performed today. The librettists for Turandot were the playwright Giuseppe Adami (1878–1946), who had previously worked with Puccini on Il Tabarro and La Rondine, and the journalist Renato Simoni (1875–1952).

Production Franco Zeffirelli

Set Designer Franco Zeffirelli

Costume Designers Dada Saligeri

Costume Designers Anna Anni

Lighting Designer Gil Wechsler

Choreographer Chiang Ching

Composer

Giacomo Puccini

Setting

In Gozzi’s play, the original commedia dell’arte characters wandered from Italy to China and were members of the Imperial court. Their comments satirized Venetian politics and mores of the times. Puccini and his librettists dispensed with any such relevance. The China of this opera, set in “legendary times,” is a mythical land where the clash of the sexes is drawn in high relief.

Music

The large Turandot orchestra calls for a wide variety of instruments, including alto saxophones, celesta, bass xylophone, harps, and an organ. There are several genuine Chinese themes that are integrated into the score in a suave and brilliantly original manner, including the big imperial anthem in Act II. The opera also contains moments of sheer melodic beauty in Puccini’s most lyrical vein, most notably in the tenor’s unforgettable song of triumph, “Nessun dorma!,” which opens Act III.

Met History

Although the Met presented the American premiere of Turandot in 1926, Puccini’s last work didn’t become an audience favorite until the opening of Cecil Beaton’s 1961 production, which featured Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli. Their dynamic (and highly competitive) appearances together helped secure the opera’s box office appeal. The current Franco Zeffirelli production was first seen in 1987 with Eva Marton, Plácido Domingo, and Leona Mitchell.