Turandot was the great Italian composer Giacomo Puccini’s final opera. Weakened by sudden illness, he died in 1924 and never managed to finish it. The opera was completed by Franco Alfano two years later and set to the libretto written by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni. In an effort to move away from the verismo style, Puccini looked to the German adaptation of the legend of the Chinese princess Turandot by Friedrich Schiller, itself a rewriting of the Italian author Carlo Gozzi’s work. The original story was based on the 12th-century Persian poet Nizami’s epic poem Seven Beauties. The cruel Chinese princess Turandot forces her noble suitors to answer three riddles. She has already executed one of them when another, young Calàf, who hides his name, falls hopelessly in love with the princess.
Although he is implored not to do it, he agrees to solve the riddles. When he succeeds, he wishes to soften Turandot’s heart with love, rather than force. Following many dramatic events Calàf and Turandot come out to meet the people, who celebrate the love that has changed the cold and proud princess. This lavish and popular Puccini opera in three acts is full of beautiful arias and suggestive scenes, alternating the grand with the intimate, filled with drama and tension, evoking the faraway land of China. This monumental work is a co-production of the Opera of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb and the famous Italian Sferisterio Opera Festival in Macerata. It will premiere on the stage of the National Theatre in Zagreb, where it will be conducted by Piero Giorgio Morandi and directed by the renowned Italian duo of directors Stefano Ricci and Gianni Forte.
PIER GIORGIO MORANDI is a distinguished Italian musician and conductor. For ten years he was the principal oboist in the Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala in Milan. In 1987 he won the Bernstein Prize and became the principal conductor at the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome. He regularly collaborates with opera houses across Europe and worldwide and often conducts symphonic orchestras in Europe. In 1991 he was appointed principal guest conductor at the Budapest National Opera House and the Royal Opera House in Stockholm.
STEFANO RICCI and GIANNI FORTE are among the most active Italian directors. They studied direction at the Silvio d’Amico National Academy of Dramatic Art in Rome and at New York University they studied dramaturgy under Edward Albee. They are well known for their extremely successful project wunderkammer soap, which opened the Quartieri dell’arte festival in 2006. In addition to theatrical work, they write TV scripts and screenplays and have won numerous awards.