The spring 2007 production of Turandot will be performed in Italian, with English surtitle translations projected above the stage.
Puccini's final masterpiece, and the last true manifestation of Italian opera in the romantic 19th Century style, Turandot is known for its exotic orchestration and lavish production values. The opera, which has been an audience favorite for more than eight decades, features some of Italian opera's most powerful music, including Calaf's "Non piangere, Liu"Â and "Nessun Dorma"Â as well as Liu's touching aria "Tu, che di gel sei cinta."Â
Turandot is a romantic three-act opera that tells the story of Turandot, an ice princess forced by her father to choose a suitor. As potential suitors ask for her hand, she ruthlessly eliminates those that fail to correctly answer her three puzzling riddles, and all have failed. Prince Calaf decides in a moment of passion, immediately after meeting the princess, that he has fallen in love with Turandot, and will doom himself to the riddles and almost certain death. Tragedy does not overtake the young prince, but his serendipitous love with princess Turandot is not without a few battles.
Michigan Opera Theatre's production of Turandot features an illustrious cast of international stars, including several who will make their company debut. The role of Turandot will be sung alternately by two of opera's up-and-coming leading ladies: Ukrainian soprano Anna Shafajinskaia and Canadian soprano Othalie Graham. Shafajinskaia is a former winner of the Luciano Pavarotti competition and has developed a reputation as one of the world's foremost dramatic sopranos. Graham has performed with many of the nation's leading companies and is also a frequent performer on the concert stage.
Turandot also includes returning artists Yu Qiang Dai, from 2005's Tosca and Eduardo Villa, who last appeared in the Company's 2003 production of A Masked Ball - Dai and Villa will alternate in the role of the daring Calaf. Other returning artists include Armenian bass Arutjun Kotchinian in the role of Timur and American baritone Michael Mayes in the role of Ping. -- www.motopera.org