Turandot – A Night At The Opera ( On A Budget )


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 )

79 thoughts on “Turandot – A Night At The Opera ( On A Budget )

    1. Truly I can recommend it as a great way to watch these lavish productions :). I still feel good about it now. At least everyone in my family will know where Nessun Dorma is from now 😉

      1. Hmm, you’d have an audience of 3. Me, my wife and Bonzo our farm dog. The nearest we get to high octave vocal extravaganzas are when foxes come for the chickens, or there’s a domestic across the valley – boy, can she make some noise!

    1. Hello Joan, it was great, I went with my two friends Chelsea and James, we all want to go to the next one. Actually we’d all like to be in one 😉 … Eventually
      Best wishes

      1. Thanks so much. I am very time poor but sewing keeps me sane. I work five days a week and have two girls – and go to the gym three times a week. Sewing is my yoga 🙂

  1. Sounds like a great evening. I think it’s fantastic that the Royal Opera House are doing this – a brilliant way to bring opera and ballet to more people – and such a bargain, too. Very jealous. (The screenings don’t come anywhere near me 🙁 )

    1. Hello Daisy, it is fantastic that the ROH are doing this, the atmosphere was great. I think you can sometimes get live videos on The Guardian newspaper site but I’m not sure.
      All the best

  2. I have been loving the Live from the Met cinema productions for years. It is such a thrill that we can have them from the ROH now too. It is becoming a habit with some local friends who have yet to get to live opera, but I am sure they will now. Turandot a favourite with me too from the old ROH production.

    1. Hello Hilary, can you remember when you first saw it? Did you work out the riddles? Can you recall who played the Ice Princess? I was very impressed with the cast and the set designers were magnificent, I have to remember to say that more often my flat mate is a trainee set designer.
      Best wishes

    1. I really enjoyed experiencing the whole performance of Turandot, which could only have been enhanced by actually being there 🙂

      My favourite opera so far has been “Eugine Onegin” whose story revolves around love and those who long for love. It is a beautiful story which brings dance into the performance so that earns it an extra star from me as I also love to dance.

      Here is the trailer for the Royal Opera House production :


      1. Wow, I’d really love to go see this. Here in St. Louis our Opera house is extremely expensive and not very reliable when it comes to shows. 🙁 I envy your ability to see this! lol <3

  3. Thanks for the description and a quick synopsis of the opera. If it comes to my town, I”ll be sure to check it out! 🙂 By the way, you look lovely in your fab dress!! Where did you get this one? 🙂

    1. Hi Violet, it was from House of Fraser, I love wearing it 🙂 I hope you do get to watch one of these lavish and engaging productions I’m sure you’d like it.

      Best wishes

      1. I think House of Fraser has beautiful dresses indeed and no wonder you love them! This is the second one I’ve seen you wear. 🙂 Thanks, I hope and think so! ^^

    1. Thanks Sandra, I love bargains, my Mum is very thrifty and hates paying more than sale prices for anything. My Nana’s favourite saying is ‘don’t get done get Dom’ she used to watch a program on the BBC about consumer rights and asking for deals/haggling 🙂

      All the best

  4. What a great way to spend the evening and this opera most certainly is an interesting one. Just watching the sneak preview of the trailer (“Where the wrong answer can cost you your life”)…I’ll be careful. This posting reminds me of when I saw “The Phantom of the Opera” many years ago, in Atlanta, and I’ll always remember its performance and music.

    1. Hello Mary, thanks for your message, I remember watching Phantom of the Opera in London the staging was so brilliant I was blown away. I’ve always wanted to play Christine after watching it I learnt all of her songs.

      Best wishes

  5. Nice to see Covent Garden getting in on this – The Met has been screening in Moscow over the past couple of years and I’ve enjoyed my trips to some of those. And, like you say, definitely a good way of introducing people to opera (or ballet, theatre etc).

    Somehow the atmosphere wasn’t the same at the cinema in Baku which they used for live Turkish football matches …

    1. Hello Andy, its nice to see you back, thanks for commenting, you’ve reminded me to check your blog to see how the music scene in Moscow is doing.

      I wonder if they would put both sets of fans in the same cinema? I could imagine that for the Manchester Derby this weekend lol 😉 although I have lots of friends that are Man United fans on match day we all get a bit emotional.

      Best wishes

  6. Sounds great! I’ve never been to an opera, but I’ve been wanting to. Any recommendations on where to find shows in Edinburgh? Although Glasgow isn’t too far.

    1. I know there is a festival called the Lammermuir festival in that area which finishes on 22/09 if I hear of anything else I’ll let you know.
      The Scottish Opera are doing Don Giovanni co-produced with the Boston Lyric Opera in Glasgow on 15th October and Friday 18th, and in Edinburgh at The Festival theatre on 14, 17 and 19th November and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has a booking office that advertises shows in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

  7. Thank you for sharing! I will definitely have to check out the next opera that is shown in my local theater! It was always my dream to be an opera singer, but somehow I became an engineer instead! Lol

  8. I have seen Turandot once, and I was not overly impressed by the production that I saw. Even though it was extremely lavish and colourful and everything. The only one I really liked was the soprano who played Liú. But this sounds like a fantastic production though, so I am sad that they will not be showing it at Acusticum (a concert hall connected to my school, where they not only have concerts, but show live opera on the big screen as well). 🙂

    1. Hi Cecilia, hmm that’s disappointing. The cinema I watched this production in is near to RCS. I’ll make some time to listen to your videos this weekend. Nice to hear from you.
      Best wishes

  9. I really loved your dress here. I am heading to London this January to pursue my studies further! Let me know if you ever are in the city and would like to attend a musical performance together!

    1. Hello Michelle,
      Thank you, I hope you have a fabulous visit/term to London. Where are you studying? I love going to musicals, we try to go to London once each year to do just that. My top choices would be:
      Les Miserables, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Ghost, and Legally Blonde (but I’m not sure if the last one is still on).
      Best wishes

  10. I am able to go “to the opera” in a tiny theater just 20 minutes from our farm here in Sweden. Sometimes I have been in the theater while my daughter is in the audience in NY! That was fun. I would love to be at the Met for opening night of this season! All of tis made possible because of the new director Peter Gelb! Thank you !!

  11. Eeek, so jealous right now XD

    I’m a bit late to the party, but can I just say thank you for posting this? I just found out there’s a cinema quite close to where I live where I can watch those screenings. Maybe I’ll finally get to see an opera that’s not a horribly mangled “underground” production…

  12. Thanks for the feedback and the glorious blogs, C. I’m up to my eyes in stuff at the present, but will certainly do reciprocal when I’ve time and energy. Brill show.

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