Yesterday evening, I went to see Puccini’s exotic final Opera Turandot at Cineworld in Glasgow. It was a live performance from the Royal Opera House in London which was screened in 1000 cinemas worldwide ( Link ).
My ticket cost £10.25 and I can honestly say “it was good for my heart” as Ivan Hewett wrote on Friday in the Telegraph ( Link )
I received a printed programme with synopsis before the show and at the beginning of each act the themes of what was to happen next were explained. A great way to see your first opera. You don’t need to know anything about the plot they tell you in a relaxed cinema environment. People were clapping he he, it was a joy. I even got a free pen! And the dates of next viewings which will definitely be going into my calendar!
Here is a sneaky peak at the trailer for the screening of Turandot
It was amazing, you would all have loved the extravagance of the costumes and masks. Ping, Pong and Pang are so exuberant and showed brilliant energy. I loved the drama of Liú’s voice, a slave girl played by Eri Nakamura, a Japanese Soprano, who created such a splendid encapsulation of the character! A real inspiration to me. I tweeted in the two intervals as it is an Opera in three acts and commented on my blog but I was a bit worried about my 3G allowance running out or I’d have shared the experience with you last night. I was blown away by the sense of nobility and power of the beautifully poised Turandot, played by Lise Lindstrom an amazing Ice Princess, Lise is an Amercian Soprano who sang the role last night for the 100th time in her career.
Turandot means “the daughter of Turan”, Turan being a region of Central Asia, it is a Persian word. Puccini never pronounced the final ‘t’ in Turandot. However, Puccini’s granddaughter has stated the final ‘t’ must be pronounced.
The dramatic story reveals the ultimate challenge for love: put your life on the line. Turandot asks her potential lovers three very tricky riddles (I got all three wrong eek!) if they do not answer correctly they will lose their head. But there is a twist, as Calaf upon correctly answering the challenge gives Turandot a riddle of her own to guess! If she can guess his name by morning, he will agree to be decapitated.
You can read more about the essentials of the plot on the Royal Opera House site ( Link )
The critics seem to agree that the production was 4/5 stars. You can check out two of them using these links.
The Guardian ( Link )
The Express ( Link )