World-famous opera ‘Turandot’ goes onstage at CCP

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF RUSTANS THE Cultural Center of the Philippines, headed by chairperson Margie Moran (fourth from left, back), Filipinas Opera Society Foundation Inc. and the Rustan Group of Companies, bring ‘Turandot’ onstage at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo on 9 and 11 December.

The story goes that Giacomo Puccini — regarded as the greatest Italian opera composer after Verdi — writes Turandot, an “extravaganza of sex and sadism” whose last part he fails to finish due to death from throat cancer in 1924.

To the rescue comes Franco Alfano, who completes Turandot in 1926, and the rest is history — as the opera set in ancient China about a princess whose suitors are beheaded if they can’t answer three riddles becomes world-famous for its aria “Nessun dorma.”

As pandemic restrictions ease, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Filipinas Opera Society Foundation, Inc., and Rustan Group of Companies, with the Italian Embassy, bring Turandot onstage on 9 and 11 December at the CCP’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater).

‘TURANDOT’ in Turkey.

Award-winning South Korean soprano Lilla Lee breathes life to Princess Turandot, while frequent champion Italian tenor Alessandro Liberatore is the mystery prince Calaf who wins her heart.

At the helm is Italian Maestro Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini, who also directed Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, and Lucia di Lammermoor at the CCP in 2017, and 2020, respectively.

Maestro Valentino Favoino conducts the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra with the Turandot Opera Chorus and the Mandaluyong Children’s Choir.

In the cast are Filipino soprano Rachelle Gerodias, Korean baritone Byeong In Park, tenor Ivan Nery, tenor Nomher Nival, baritone Greg de Leon, and members of Alice Reyes Dance Philippines.

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