Turandot is a truly icy princess. Her steely glare and unfeeling beauty comes across in the original 1926 poster (a postcard-sized version of which is keeping Constance company on the Opera Couch).
Although there are two women, various potential lovers, a problem that has to be solved at pain of death, and lots and lots of singing, Disney “Frozen” this is not… not everyone survives to the end of the story…
In fact Puccini died before completing the score. At the first performance, the conductor, Toscanini stopped the music part way through the third act and announced “Qui finisce l’opera, perché a questo punto il maestro è morto” (“Here the opera ends, because at this point the maestro died”). An ending was created by another composer.
Constance and I very much enjoyed the sumptuous production designed by Franco Zeffirelli, and the glorious singing by all the principals, but we do worry about the karma of a princess who leaves a trail of bodies behind her as she works her way toward an understanding of the meaning of love.
To view Constance’s other opera reviews go to this link