DALLAS – The Dallas Opera is tremendously proud to present Giacomo Puccini’s breathtakingly beautiful 20th century masterpiece, “Turandot.” This sad and powerful opera was Puccini final work.
“Turandot” opens on Friday, April 5 in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District, underwritten in part by TACA.
“Turandot” will star American soprano Lise Lindstrom, making her Dallas Opera debut as Princess “Turandot.” Ms. Lindstrom made a splash singing the role in her debuts at both La Scala and New York’s Metropolitan Opera.
The New York Times wrote: “The youthful shimmer of her singing was balanced by a rich emotional maturity.”
Critics found her “dramatically alluring and vocally impressive, winning enthusiastic ovations from the audience.”
Earlier this season, Ms. Lindstrom appeared with Arena di Verona, les Chorégies d’Orange, and Theater Wiesbaden in the same signature role.
Ms. Lindstrom has also been earning critical acclaim for her believable depiction of Richard Strauss’ passionately possessed heroine, Salome.
The Opera Critic wrote: “Lise Lindstrom is a Salome to be reckoned with. Here’s a soprano with a model figure and the ideal deportment to depict Strauss’ teenage princess. Not only has she the capacity to soar over the composer’s most intense orchestration with ease and beauty, but she manages to maintain seemingly endless stamina throughout – and includes a compellingly seductive dance for good measure. It was gratifying to see the well-earned reception at her solo curtain.”
At the center of this quest for Ms. Lindstrom’s heart and hand is Italian tenor Antonello Palombi as Prince Calaf. Earlier this season, Mr. Palombi appeared in TDO’s production of “Aïda” prompting Theater Jones’ Gregory Sullivan Issacs to write “He has a solid tenor voice with baritone overtones and a secure top. In a role where many tenors bellow from start to finish, Palombi actually sings the dynamics that Verdi wrote in the score. Verdi asks for soft high notes, an anathema for most tenors capable of singing the role, but Palombi did a fine job with floating some lovely pianissimos, only rarely resorting to falsetto. He was especially effective in this effort in the last scene.”
Beloved Korean soprano Hei-Kyung Hong returns to the Dallas Opera stage as the ever-loyal Liù. Miss Hong was last heard here in the title role of Jules Massenet’s “Manon” (2001) after previously singing the role of Mimì in the company’s sold-out 1999 production of “La bohème.” She has appeared onstage at the Metropolitan Opera in nearly 350 performances over the past 25 years; most recently as Violetta in “La traviata” (also for Washington Opera, to rave reviews), as Juliette in Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette,” and as Micaëla in “Carmen.
James Jorden of The New York Post wrote earlier this year that “her lyric soprano remains fresh and delicate, soaring to high C’s and D’s” while Classical Voice reviewer Truman C. Wang exclaimed, “There can be no doubt about the sheer vocal thrills delivered by the fine international cast, led by the incomparable Liù of Korean soprano Hei-Kyung Hong. In her two poignantly sung arias, ‘Signore ascolta’ and ‘Tu che di gel sei cinta,’ Ms. Hong offered an object lesson on legato singing and stylish phrasing that made the last of Puccini’s Little Girls seem almost heroic. No one today in my experience sings this role better.”
The second production of the “Pursuits of Passion” Season, supported by The Texas Instruments Foundation, is a revival of a stunningly beautiful Dallas Opera production of Giacomo Puccini’s final masterpiece, “Turandot,” designed by Allen Charles Klein and last performed by the Dallas Opera in 2003.
Conducted by Maestro Marco Zambelli and staged by Garnett Bruce, who has staged extraordinarily popular revivals of “La bohème” and “Madame Butterfly” for TDO as well as our 2011 season opener, Lucia di Lammermoor with Elena Mosuc.
Sung in Italian, with English language translations projected above the stage, “Turandot” can be experienced at one of five additional performances on April 7(m), 10, 13, 19 & 21(m).
Puccini’s unfinished masterpiece was first performed in 1926 (conducted by Arturo Toscanini) after a talented colleague, Franco Alfano, used the composer’s own notes and outlines to complete the opera.
On opening night, Toscanini did not perform Alfano’s ending. Unexpectedly, the conductor laid down his baton right after Liù’s final scene and addressed the audience, saying, “Here the Maestro died.”
“Turandot” is based upon a fable about a barbarian prince who comes to a splendid city (in this case, Beijing, China). There, he is reunited with his long-lost father and a faithful servant. He also encounters a cold but beautiful woman, the Princess “Turandot,” and decides to embark upon his greatest challenge—winning her heart and hand at the risk of his own life. This intriguing “battle of the sexes” also revolves around questions of family loyalty, faithfulness to duty, openness to emotion, and honesty with oneself.
Single tickets for the remaining mainstage productions of the Dallas Opera’s “Pursuits of Passion” Season are on sale now, starting at just $19, through the Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214-443-1000 or online at www.dallasopera.org.
Student Rush best-available tickets can be purchased at the lobby box office for $25 (one per valid Student I.D.) ninety minutes prior to each performance.
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