The Royal Opera: Andrei Serban’s magnificent production of Puccini’s ‘Turandot’ opens at ROH on Monday 17 February, 2014



Giacomo Puccini

17, 20, 25, 28, February and 4, 7 and 10 March at 7.30PM

Main Image: The Royal Opera in Turandot. © ROH / Johan Persson 2008

The Royal Opera revives Andrei Serban’s magnificent production of Puccini’s exotic and erotic final opera Turandot for a second time in the 2013/14 Season.

The opera, set in ancient China, tells the story of Princess Turandot, who has sworn that no man shall marry her unless he can correctly answer three riddles. Prince Calaf, captivated by Turandot’s beauty, takes up the challenge, determined to win her heart or die in the attempt.

Sally Jacobs’s bold designs reflect the opera’s oriental setting. The colourful sets and costumes are inspired by ancient Chinese culture, and reflect the traditional Chinese melodies woven into the score. Lighting design by F. Mitchell Dana adds to the drama of the production, while the choreography by Kate Flatt is inspired by oriental martial arts.

In the final months of his life Puccini struggled to write Turandot and Calaf’s final rapturous love duet: he died before finishing the final act of the opera. Turandot was completed by Franco Alfano two years later and given its premiere in 1926 at La Scala, Milan. During the initial performance the conductor Arturo Toscanini famously laid down his baton in Act III, declaring ‘at this point, the Maestro died’. Since then, Turandot has had great success worldwide. It is one of the most popular operas of the 20th century.

Puccini creates a richly-textured sound world for this dark and erotic fairytale. The opera contains many memorable arias, from Liù’s plea to Calaf not to attempt Turandot’s deadly riddles, ‘Signore, ascolta’, to Turandot’s defiant and majestic ‘In questa reggia’. Turandot also contains one of the most famous of all arias, ‘Nessun dorma’, sung as Calaf anticipates winning Turandot’s love.

Singing the title role is Swedish soprano Iréne Theorin. She will be singing opposite Korean tenor Alfred Kim, who makes his Royal Opera role debut in the role of Calaf.  American soprano Ailyn Pérez also makes her Royal Opera role debut as Liù, Timur is sung by former Jette Parker Young Artist English bass Matthew Rose, with German bass Kurt Rydl taking over the part for two performances, and the roles of Ping, Pang and Pong are sung by Australian baritone Grant Doyle, and British tenors and Jette Parker Young Artists David Butt Philip and Luis Gomes.

Italian conductor Nicola Luisotti returns to The Royal Opera to conduct this dramatic score.



For more information on the production, and to book tickets, please Click Here.


Running Time:

About 2 hours 50 minutes | Including two intervals.



Sung in Italian with English surtitles.



Director: Andrei Serban

Designs: Sally Jacobs

Lighting Design: F. Mitchell Dana

Choreography: Kate Flatt

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