Puccini’s final opera is a fitting finale to an astonishing career – epic, exciting, full of drama and packed with melodic ingenuity. Written for a cast and orchestra of over 160, this huge work features some of the most thrilling music in Italian opera, including ‘the’ tenor aria made so famous by Luciano Pavarotti: ‘Nessun dorma’.
Turandot, daughter of the Emperor Altoum, has promised to marry whoever can solve her three riddles. To try and fail means execution but to Turandot’s horror, an unknown prince gives three correct answers. Turning the tables, he swears to go willingly to his death if she can but guess his name. With the whole city under threat of death unless they reveal his secret, it falls to Liù, a slave girl harbouring a secret passion, to save him from the baying crowd and teach them all the true nature of love.
This one-off concert performance follows the sell-out successes of I Puritani in 2009 and Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci in 2012, and takes the Company to Edinburgh’s Usher Hall for the first time since 2010. Conducted by Francesco Corti, Turandot features a wealth of talent on stage, including Welsh tenor Ryland Davies, leading British soprano Claire Rutter and world-famous bass-baritone Sir Willard White.
Listen to extracts from Turandot:
Popolo di Pekino!
In questa Reggia
Tu che di gel sei cinta
Principessa di morte
Courtesy of Decca Classics www.deccaclassics.com
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Zubin Mehta
Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Montserrat Caballé, Sabin Markov