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1. Act
The crowd gathered outside the gates of Beijing listens to the declaration of the Emperor's orders: the man who is able to solve three riddles shall win Princess Turandot's hand in marriage.He who fails shall lose his head. Calaf, a Tartar prince, who had to flee from his enemy-occupied country hears the statement. In the crowd he finds his father, King Timur, who is accompanied by his faithful slave girl Liu. Calaf is delighted by this meeting with his father. Preparations for the execution of a Persian prince, who was a candidate for the hand of Turandot, are under way. Princess Turandot arrives and Calaf, struck by her beauty, decides to take the test. Both Timur and Liu, and three royal ministers, fail to deter him. The gong strikes and he announces himself as a suitor for the princess.


2. Act
The ministers Ping, Pang and Pong are tired of the eternal executions of the Princess's suitors, whose number is constantly growing. And now another fool is putting himself forward. The crowd in front of the Imperial Palace watches as another suitor enters the fray. Even Emperor Altoum questions his intention, but the Prince insists. Turandot arrives, and she tells how long ago China was ruled by her grandmother Lou-Ling. She was kidnapped by the Khan of the Tartars, who attacked and looted the whole country and violated Lou-Ling. This is how Turandot took revenge against men and she therefore never wants to know what love is. Calaf solves the three riddles, but Turandot refuses to accept him as her husband. When the prince sees her resistance, he does not wish to use violence to assert his victory. He offers Turandot also the opportunity to guess - if by dawn she can guess his name, he promises to undergo death.


3. Act
Turandot sends troops into the streets of Beijing to find out the name of the unknown man. The Ministers offer the Prince great riches if he tells them who he is. The servants drag in Timur and Liu, in whose company the Prince was seen, and forced them to disclose his name. Turandot herself wants to know the answer and Liu, in order to save Timur from torture, claims that only she knows the Prince. Even torture does not cause her to reveal her secret. Finally, Liu rips a dagger from one of the guards and stabs him with it. The Prince accuses Turandot of cruelty. He tears off her veil, kisses her and whispers his name to her. Turandot asks him to appear with her before the people. Turandot reveals the solution to the the puzzle before the Emperor: the name of the unknown Prince is love.

Program and cast

Music Giacomo Puccini

Lyric Drama in Three Acts and Five Scenes
Libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni

First performed, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, April 25, 1926
conductor Alejo Pérez
Director, set, costume designer Ai Weiwei

CHORUS MASTER Roberto Gabbiani


PRINCESS TURANDOT: Anna Pirozzi / Amber Wagner


TIMUR: Antonio Di Matteo / Marco Spotti

THE UNKNOWN PRINCE (CALAF): Gregory Kunde / Arsen Soghomonyan

LIÚ: Francesca Dotto

PING: Alessio Verna

PANG: Francesco Pittari

PONG: Pietro Picone

A MANDARIN: Andrii Ganchuk*

* after the project “Fabbrica” Young Artist Program of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma

Teatro dell’Opera di Roma Orchestra and Chorus
with the partecipation of Scuola di Canto Corale of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma

New production

sung in Italian with Italian and English surtitles

Teatro dell'Opera di Roma - Teatro Costanzi

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The Teatro dell'Opera, from its building (1879), at Domenico Costanzi’s request (1810-1898), and 1926, when it was bought by the then Governor of RomE, bore the name of Domenico Costanzi, building contractor and impresario, who committed the building to the Milanese architect Achille Sfondrini (1836-1900), specialized in theatre building and renovation. Built in 18 months on the area prevIously occupied by Heliogabalus’ villa, it was inaugurated on November 27th, 1880 with Semiramide by G. Rossini, conducted by the Maestro Giovanni Rossi, in the presence of the King and Queen of Italy.

Sfrondini’s design privileges the acoustic effect, by conceiving the interior structure as a "resonance chamber": as is particularly evident from the horseshoe shape. At the beginning, the theatre, with a seating capacity of 2,212 spectators, had three tiers of boxes, an amphitheatre, a gallery. All was surmounted by a dome with splendid frescoes by Annibale Brugnoli.

Costanzi invested all his personal assets in the venture. However, due to the despotic refusal of the City Council to redeem the theatre, Costanzi was obliged to manage it himself. Despite the fact that he had to deal with huge financial problems, under his management the opera house held many world premières of such operas as Cavalleria Rusticana (on May 17th, 1890) and L'Amico Fritz(October 31st 1891), both by Pietro Mascagni, who then became very well known.

For a brief period, the theatre was managed by the founder's son, Enrico Costanzi, who contributed to other great premières: Tosca by Giacomo Puccini (January 14th, 1900) and Le Maschere (January 17th, 1901). In 1907, the Teatro Costanzi was managed by the impresario Walter Mocchi (1870-1955) on behalf of the Società Teatrale Internazionale e Nazionale (STIN).

In 1912 Emma Carelli (1877-1928), Mocchi's wife, became the managing director of the new «Impresa Costanzi», named as such following various changes in the company structure. With Rome City Council’s purchase of Costanzi company, the theatre became “Teatro Reale dell'Opera” and a partial rebuilding was commissioned to the architect Marcello Piacentini. Closed on November 15th, 1926, it was re-opened on February 27th, 1928 with the opera Nerone by Arrigo Boito, conducted by the Maestro Gino Marinuzzi.

With the advent of the Republic, the theatre gained the current name of Teatro dell'Opera. In 1958, the building was further remodeled and modernised at the request of the Rome City Council. In over a century, the Teatro dell’Opera has seen its prestige increase internationally. During the several seasons, the most acclaimed voices worldwide followed one another: Enrico Caruso; Beniamino Gigli; Aureliano Pertile; Giacomo Lauri-Volpi; Claudia Muzio; Maria Caniglia; Maria Callas; Renata Tebaldi; Montserrat Caballé; Marilyn Horne; Raina Kabaivanska; Mario Del Monaco; Franco Corelli; Giuseppe Di Stefano; Tito Gobbi; Alfredo Kraus; Ruggero Raimondi; José Carreras; Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. Among the finest conductors, we can mention Otto Klemperer, Arturo Toscanini, Victor De Sabata, Marinuzzi,Vittorio Gui, Tullio Serafin, Von Karajan, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Carlo Maria Giulini, Georg Solti, Claudio Abbado, Georges Prêtre, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Mstislav Rostropovich, Giuseppe Patanè, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Nino Sanzogno, Gianluigi Gelmetti and since 2008 the Maestro Riccardo Muti.


How to reach Teatro dell'Opera

Piazza Beniamino Gigli, 7


Via Nazionale - H, 40, 60, 64, 70, 71, 170, 116T
Via Depretis - 70, 71
Via Cavour - 16, 75, 84, 150 (festivo), 360, 590, 649, 714
Stazione Termini - 16, 38, 75, 86, 90, 217, 310, 360, 649, 714

phone number  - 06.3570

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