March 06, 2019

TURANDOT and More — Your Perfect Chance to Go Big for Holiday Entertainment and Gift-Giving!

If you want to make a really big impact for the holiday season and New Year (and who doesn’t?)...consider a gift worthy of a royal princess or exiled prince — the experience of a truly grand opera at Lyric! 

Give your family, friends, and/or professional colleagues a stocking-stuffer to knock their socks off — tickets to Turandot, or, even better, a package of seats to several operas and special events in the 2017/18 Season. Lyric’s Create Your Own (CYO) Series or the Fixed-Date Opera Series can unlock special prices for maximum musical pleasure.

With ten performances December 5 through January 27, including four matinees, and a running time of under three hours (including two intermissions), Turandot is a perfect opera to share with nearly all ages. It’s performed in Italian with projected translations above the stage, and the ravishing costumes and sets, along with the melodic sweep of the musical storytelling, will keep everyone’s attention engaged.

Puccini’s final masterpiece will transport you to a brillianct fantasy of ancient China, where the icy Princess Turandot poses three riddles to any prince who dares to court her, and commands the death of all who fail. When an unknown prince triumphs, the prospect of marriage strikes terror in Turandot’s heart. Ever the gentleman, he offers her an out — but only if she can guess his name. The slave Liù loves Prince Calaf (ssshhh!) and serves his father Timur, but fiercely guards the secret of his name. What will it take to melt Turandot’s resistance?

This romantic drama is packed with glorious music, including Calaf’s soaring, instantly recognizable tenor aria “Nessun dorma” (“No one sleeps”), Turandot’s passionate “In questa reggia” (“In this place”), explaining why an ancestral trauma caused her steely resolve, and Liù’s heart-wrenching “Signore, ascolta” (“Sir, listen”), revealing her own crushed love. 

Acclaimed American soprano Amber Wagner has won praise at Lyric and around the world for her spectacular singing. A proud alumna of the Ryan Opera Center, she portrays Turandot opposite the Calaf of Italian tenor Stefano La Colla and the Liù of Italian soprano Maria Agresta (December) and American soprano (and Chicago native) Janai Brugger (January), all making their Lyric debuts. Italian bass Andrea Silvestrelli portrays Timur. Comic relief comes from the trio portraying Turandot’s ministers Ping, Pang, and Pong: American baritone Zachary Nelson, Filipino-American tenor Rodell Rosel, and American tenor Keith Jameson.

Lyric’s music director and principal conductor Sir Andrew Davis will lead the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus for nine performances, with Robert Tweten conducting on Jan. 27. Rob Kearley directs the production with lighting designed by Chris Maravich. August Tye is movement director for the production.

Give the gift of an unforgettable opera experience this holiday season — to your loved ones and yourself! The memories will last long after the final curtain.

Photo: Nanc Price/Edmonton Opera, Karen Almond/Dallas Opera