The Zagreb opera has begun with preparations of its last premiere this season, Puccini’s Turandot that is a coproduction of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb and Associazione Arena Sferisterio – Macerata Opera Festival. The opening night is planned for May 18, 2018 with Marcello Mottadelli as conducted in stage direction of Stefano Ricci and Gianni Forte. The set and light designer is Nicolas Bovey, the costume designer is Gianluca Sbicca, the choirmaster is Luka Vukšić and stage movement is created by Marta Bevilacqua. Assistant conductor is Darijan Ivezić, assistant stage director is Liliana Laera and assistant costume designer is Gianluca Carrozza.
The cast of the performance is as follows; Božimir Lovrić / Tvrtko Stipić (Altoum), Tanya Ivanova / Rebeka Lokar (Turandot), Kamen Tchanev / Renzo Zulian (Calaf), Luciano Batinić / Siniša Štork (Timur), Valentina Fijačko Kobić / Adela Golac Rilović (Liu), Leon Košavić / Davor Radić (Ping), Mario Filipović / Siniša Galović (Pang), Ivo Gamulin / Ladislav Vrgoč (Pong), Ozren Bilušić / Neven Paleček (Mandarin) with the participation of the Orchestra and Choir of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb.
Turandot was the final opera of the great Italian composer Giacomo Puccini who weakened by a sudden illness 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 Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, where it will be conducted by Marcello Mottadellij and directed by the renowned Italian duo, Stefano Ricci and Gianni Forte, who belong to the most active Italian stage directors of today.
They studied direction at the Silvio d’Amico National Academy of Dramatic Art in Rome. At the 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.