04. September 2016
In his last, unfinished opera, Giacomo Puccini once again takes up the theme of love and death. On the one hand, Turandot, for whose love men have to die, on the other Liù, who dies for love, and between them Calaf, who solves the riddle and overcomes Turandot. Influenced by his own personal experiences, Puccini wrote a story that added a psychological level to Carlo Gozzi’s earlier fairytale – and that asks questions about the nature of true love. It was not by chance that he noted on a sketch for the final duet: “and then Tristan” – eternal desire, in other words, or fulfillment in transcendence?
- Marco Armiliato | Conductor
- Marco Arturo Marelli | Direction and Lights
- Marco Arturo Marelli | Sets
- Dagmar Niefind | Costumes
- Aron Kitzig | Video
- Lise Lindstrom | Turandot
- Dan Paul Dumitrescu | Timur
- Marcello Giordani | Calaf
- Olga Bezsmertna | Liù
- N.N. | Timur
- N.N. | Mandarin
- N.N. | Ping
- N.N. | Pang
- N.N. | Pong
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”…
Marco Armiliato studied piano at the Paganini-Conservatoire in his hometown of Genova. In the 90s, he became intensely active in the big opera houses of the world. At the New York Met, he conducted Il trovatore, La Bohème, Stiffelio, Madama Butterfly, Sly, Aida, Turandot, La Fille du Régiment and Rigoletto, and at the San Francisco Opera La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, La traviata, Tosca, Aida and Cavalleria rusticana.
At the Wiener Staatsoper, where he made his debut in 1996 with Andrea Chénier, he has conducted among others, Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Bohème, Carmen, Cavalleria rusticana, Don Carlo, L’elisir d’amore, Falstaff, La forza del destino, Lucia di Lammermoor, Manon, Manon Lescaut, Pagliacci, Simon Boccanegra, Stiffelio, Tosca, La traviata, Turandot and Werther.
He received further engagements at the opera houses of Barcelona, Madrid, Zurich, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Turin, Rome, at the Deutsche Opera Berlin, the Bavarian State Opera, at the ROH Covent Garden, at the Théâtre du Châtelet and Opéra Bastille in Paris, at the Hamburg State Opera and Verona. He is also internationally successful as a concert conductor.