Turandot opens the winter opera season at the Filarmonico theatre
15 December 2016 Share

Turandot opens the winter opera season at the Filarmonico theatre

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The director, Filippo Tonon, wanted to recreate a mechanism with which the human mind finds itself imprisoned in a series of situations that are more or less manageable. «One is left suffocating inside of a vicious cycle that cannot end until the moment in which something occurs that alters the castle the mind has created, deceiving itself».

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Friday, 16 December, 2016, at 20:00, with Turandot, by Giacomo Puccini, the Fondazione Arena di Verona (Verona Arena Foundation) opens the 2016-17 opera season. On the 90th anniversary of its first performance, Tuandot is to be performed by the Slovenian National Opera and Ballet of Maribor with direction , scenes, and lights by Filippo Tonon and costumes by Cristina Aceti. The Maestro, Jader Bignamini leads the orchestra and choir of the Verona Arena, which was prepared by Maestro Vito Lombardi. Dates: Sunday, December 18 at 15:30; Tuesday, December 20 at 19:00; Thursday, December 22 at 20:00; Friday, December 23 at 15:30.

Of note is the genesis commissioned for Puccini for the Christmas of 1920, an original project that was to be composed of two acts. Puccini’s greatest difficulty was that of the protagonist’s metamorphosis. Unfortunately, the composer was never able to see his work finished, in part due to the slow progress of the two librettists, Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni. in fact, Puccini died on December 29, 1924, in Brussels, completing the work up until the death of Liù. Following Puccini’s death, Franco Alfano completed the work using his predecessor’s notes. It was staged for the first time on April 25, 1926, in the Teatro alla Scala and was conducted by Arturo Toscanini.

On March 18, 1920, in a letter to Simoni, Puccini wrote, “In the end, a Turandot through the modern brain, yours, Adami, and mine. Approximately one month later he wrote, “Our princess (on whom my mind is increasingly fixated) will be pleased to see us united for the vivisection of the soul.”

The belief of the director is that the setting is of little importance. Upon the opening of the curtains the audience will see a mind, although the aesthetics, when respecting the plot, reinvent the characters of key fables and fantasies. The director wishes to recreate a mechanism with which the human mind finds itself imprisoned in a series of situations that are more or less manageable. He said, “We are on the inside of a great mechanism of the human mind. We often ask ourselves why things occur and why we see them continuously repeat themselves, tirelessly, even imagining having resolved or overcome a situation. It is the process of the mechanism, the human mind has mechanisms that need to be overcome, which can be even stronger than the mind itself. The mind even creates situations, changes the external conditions, gives itself justifications to ensure that a particular attitude is correct, indeed cannot be incorrect. In this way, one remains suffocated on the inside of a vicious cycle that cannot end until the moment in which something occurs, inside of their life, that affects the balance, that alters the castle the mind has created, deceiving itself.”

An interpretation of Turandot’s character is that the pivotal event that provides a twist to the situation and interrupts the mechanism created by Turandot is that everyone (the people, ministers, maids and emperors) is a victim. It is represented by the solution of the puzzles by Calaf. However, the mind of Turandot does not give up and the mechanism is restarted when the princess discovers the name of the prince. It is only with free will, “that the human mind can win and overcome the mechanism, saying ‘enough, no more’. And thus the mind opens itself to the light and to the world.”

The set up reflects this voyage in the human mechanism and, as the director stated, it translates to, “a simple stage space, yet effective at the same time, with very few elements that change, that come and go, precisely in order to give that sense of discomfort and constant change of a mind that wants to deceive itself so as to be able to continue moving forward, changing the situations of reality at will. The setting is invented; it could be China but it could also be somewhere else, it could be the time of the fables or the future. It’s a timeless story.”

On the podium, for the five performances: the Maestro Jader Bignamini, in the role of princess Turandot, Tiziana Caruso (December 16, 18 and 23) and Teresa Romano (December 20 and 22). Calaf is played by Walter Fraccaro (December 16, 18, 23) and Martin Muehle (December 20 and 22), the latter of whom is making his debut on the stage of the Teatro Filarmonico. Donata D’Annunzio Lombardi (December 18, 23) and Rocio Ignacio (December 16, 20 and 22), who was also making her debut at the Teatro Filarmonico, play Liù. Carlo Cigni plays Timur, while the roles of the three ministers, Ping, Pong and Pang, are taken on by Federico Longhi, Massimiliano Chiarolla and Luca Casalin, respectively. Murat Can Güvem plays Emperor Altoum, while Nicolò Ceriani plays A Mandarin. Finally, Salvatore Schiano di Cola (December 16,18 and 23) and Angel Harkatz Kaufman (December 20 and 22) perform as the Prince of Persia.

2016-07-13, Filarmonico, Turandot (Photo Ennevi, Fondazione Arena)
Opera prices from 10 to 60 euros.
biglietteria@arenadiverona.it
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