MET OPERA IN HD: TURANDOT (Giacomo Puccini)
The Cultural Center of the Philippines
The Metropolitan Opera of New York
The Filipinas Opera Society Foundation, Inc. and
Ayala Malls Cinemas
DATE/ TIME/ VENUE:
April 4, 2017
Tuesday at 6:30 PM
Greenbelt 3 Cinema 3
Estimated Running Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Nina Stemme takes on the title role of the proud princess of ancient China, whose riddles doom every suitor who seeks her hand, opposite Marco Berti as Calàf, the brave prince who sings “Nessundorma” and wins her love. Anita Hartig and Leah Crocetto share the role of Liù, the faithful slave girl. Franco Zeffirelli’s golden production is conducted by Paolo Carignani.
The Metropolitan Opera in HD is a series of screenings of the latest performances by the Metropolitan Opera of New York, delivered in high-definition video and Dolby Surround Sound.
ACT I China, in ancient times. Outside the Imperial Palace a mandarin reads an edict to the crowd: any prince seeking to marry Princess Turandot must answer three riddles. If he fails, he will die. The most recent suitor, the Prince of Persia, is to be executed at the moon’s rising. Among the onlookers are the slave girl Liù, her aged master, and the young Calàf, who recognizes the old man as his long lost father, Timur, vanquished King of Tartary. Only Liù has remained faithful to him, and when Calàf asks her why she replies that once, long ago, Calàf smiled at her. The mob cries for blood but greets the rising moon with a sudden fearful silence. When the Prince of Persia is led to his execution, the crowd calls upon the princess to spare him. Turandot appears and wordlessly orders the execution to proceed. Transfixed by the beauty of the unattainable princess, Calàf decides to win her, to the horror of Liù and Timur. Turandot’s three ministers, Ping, Pang, and Pong, also try to discourage him, but Calàf is unmoved. He comforts Liù, then strikes the gong that announces a new suitor.
ACT II Inside the palace, Ping, Pang, and Pong lament Turandot’s bloody reign, hoping that love will conquer her and restore peace. Their thoughts wander to their peaceful country homes, but the noise of the crowd gathering to witness the riddle challenge calls them back to reality.
Before the assembled court, the old emperor asks Calàf to reconsider, but he will not be dissuaded. Turandot appears. She recounts the story of her beautiful ancestor, Princess Lou-Ling, who was abducted and killed by a conquering prince. In revenge, she has turned against men and determined that none shall ever possess her. She poses her first question to Calàf: What is born each night and dies each dawn? “Hope,” Calàf answers, correctly. Turandot continues: What flickers red and warm like a flame, yet is not a flame? “Blood,” Calàf replies after a moment’s thought. Shaken, Turandot delivers the third riddle: What is like ice but burns? Tense silence prevails until Calàf triumphantly cries, “Turandot!” The crowd erupts in joy, and the princess vainly begs her father not to give her to the stranger. Hoping to win her love, Calàf offers Turandot a challenge of his own: if she can learn his name by dawn, he will forfeit his life.
ACT III At night in the Imperial Gardens, Calàf hears a proclamation: on pain of death no one in Peking shall sleep until Turandot learns the stranger’s name. Calàf is certain of his victory, but Ping, Pang, and Pong try to bribe him to leave the city. As the fearful mob threatens him to learn his name, soldiers drag in Liù and Timur. Calàf tries to convince the crowd that neither of them knows his secret. When Turandot appears, commanding Timur to speak, Liù replies that she alone knows the stranger’s identity and will never reveal it. She is tortured but remains silent. Impressed by her fortitude, Turandot asks Liù’s secret. It is love, she replies. When the soldiers intensify the torture, Liù tells Turandot that she, too, will know the joys of love. Then she snatches a dagger and kills herself. The crowd forms a funeral procession and the body is taken away. Turandot remains alone to confront Calàf, who impetuously kisses her. Knowing emotion for the first time, Turandot weeps. Calàf, now sure of winning her, reveals his identity.
Once again before the emperor’s throne, Turandot declares she knows the stranger’s name: it is Love.
Ticket Price: P450
Discount: 20% for Senior Citizens