Sunday, January 31, 2010

Turandot at The Metropolitan Opera, NYC


I attended the 284th performance of Giacomo Puccini's Turandot at The Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln Center, New York on January 20. 2010.  The mosaic above shows views outside and inside the opera house --please click on to enlarge to see the details.

Turandot was the last opera Puccini wrote, and is based on the play by Carlo Gozzi called Turandotte, a fairy tale set in an imagined Orient. Unfortunately Puccini died before he could complete it, but luckily he left many sketches behind which allowed composer Franco Alfano to complete it.

Photo credit NY Times

I've seen the The Metropolitan Opera's  Franco Zeffirelli production many times, and it never ceases to amaze me with it's large cast, elaborate costumes and glittery, spectacular sets.  The choreography by Chiang Ching is exquisite. Andris Nelsons was the conductor - his Met debut this season was Turandot.

Photo Credit NY Times

The three act opera takes place in Peking in legendary times. Near the city walls a Mandarin reads an edict that any prince seeking to marry Princess Turandot must first answer three riddles. If he fails he will be executed. Calaf, an exiled Prince, decides that he will attempt to win her hand in marriage, over the protest of his father Timur and the slave girl Liu, who secretly loves Calaf, despite the fact that many Princes had already tried, failed, and were put to death. Calaf stuns the cold and treacherous Princess Turandot by answering the three riddles, and the Princess begs her father not to give her to this stranger in an emotional aria.  Calaf decides to give her a riddle of his own to answer.  If she can guess his name before dawn he'll die for her.

Turandot issues a proclamation that no one can sleep until  the stranger's name is discovered.  Threatened with torture, Liu singing a dramatic and emotional aria, kills herself rather than reveal Calaf's name. Assured of victory, Calaf sings "Nessun Dorma" and then at dawn he takes Turandot in his arms and forces her to kiss him, and tells her his name. As the people hail the emperor, Turandot approaches the throne and announces the strangers name is "Love."

The entire synopsis of Turandot can be read on this link on The Metropolitan Opera web site.

The cast of Turandot taking their final bows. (mosaic it will enlarge if clicked on)

The role of Turandot was performed by soprano Maria Guleghina and the role of Calaf was performed by tenor Salvatore Licitra.

Soprano Maija Kovalevska was Liu.  Her tender performance earned her much applause and appreciation



If you would like to listen to the magnificent aria  "Nessun Dorma"  this Youtube shows a wonderful rendition by the three tenors, Domingo, Carrerras and Pavorotti.

There are two more operas in my subscription this season - La Boheme and La Traviata.  I hope you will join me then to read about those magnificent productions.  I will be excited to introduce someone very special who is making their Metropolitan debut in the La Traviata production!


Linking to Mary at The Little Red House blog for Mosaic Monday --please visit Mary to see her beautidul mosaic and links to other blogs participating today.




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49 comments:

Piecefulafternoon said...

Absolutely amazing - what a grand place. Thanks so much for sharing.

Joanne Kennedy said...

What a beautiful place to listen to beautiful singing. I'm jealous! You lucky girl!

Hugs,
Joanne

Lily Hydrangea said...

this looks like a wonderful time at the opera. The sets are beautiful too.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

What a great time you look like you had.

It always makes me giggle a lil at all of the characters in so many operas who "off" themselves on stage.

Die die die... LOL soooo dramatic.

Love it all :)

Claudia

Self Sagacity said...

Wow! Spectacular! It mush have been something else to see in person!

Riet said...

What a beautiful Opera house and what a beautiful opera. Turandot is my favorite opera as it was the first opera I saw as a young girl.Great mosaics.

RNSANE said...

Pat, this was such a special post, with the magnificent Metropolitan. Ever since I've been to Lucca, I've been so interested in Puccini though I have never actually seen one of his operas. The three tenors bring tears to my eyes, especially performing this aria. I had my computer turned up as loud as it would go, it's a wonder my two sons didn't hear it ( at nearly 1AM ).

Good luck on winning the Le Creuset...if I don't win it!

Gracie said...

I live in the Verdi region, but I have to admit I have a sweet tooth on Puccini (and Rossini too). Thank you for sharing your opera moments with us.
Gracie @ http://mylittleplace.blog.com

GrandmaK said...

On my! So very lovely!!! My late cousin, Mary Pat, would journey to New York City every Christmas. Her reason for going besides loving the city dearly, was to go to the Met for a performance. She was the one who nourished my love of opera and music. Thank you for the memories! Cathy

Marilyn said...

Oh how I envy you having such a vibrant & amazing city to see these fabulous productions!!
**PEACE**
Marilyn
xxoo

mbkatc230 said...

What a gorgeous post Pat. Drinking in these beautiful images and reading your wonderful description was a wonderful way to start my morning! What an incredible evening. Kathy

Old Kitty said...

Hi

Lovely! I wish I was there too.

Thanks for sharing.

Take care

x

Tracy said...

Ah, the splendor of Turandot...and at the Met!...*swoon*... The set is just dazzling! I just the opera...it's like being transported for a while another world, another place, another time...So glad you got to see such a wonderful performance. And take us with you! ;o) Happy Week, Pat ((HUGS))

Michelle said...

What an amazing night to share with us.. looking forward to your next review..

P.S. I edited my post .. they are Italian pizelle cookies (I don't know why my grandparents called them french cookies since we're Italian! :)

Dishesdone said...

Pat, fabulous post! I love the Met, what a fantastic, magical place. Haven't been in years, and so jealous, what a great subscription, can't wait to hear all about La Boheme and La Traviata. Haven't been since forever, and my mom at the time would drag us all to see the Opera. These days I would not have to be dragged :)

KarenHarveyCox said...

What a magnificent post Pat. I have never heard that opera, but I have been to the opera at that magnificent Lincoln Center. Just being there is breathtaking enough. I always learn something when I visit your blog. Now I must listen to this opera. Your mosaic is beautiful.
Karen

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Pat sweetie...
How wonderful that would be. I have always dreamed of going to an opera, but alas, have never been.

I love glitz and I know I would be totally in awe with everthing.

I love your photos that you shared. I feel like I was really there. Your mosiacs are just beautiful.

Thank you for sharing with me. Country hugs...Sherry

Jo said...

WOW!..I feel like I've visited this favorite,NYC,thanks for sharing this and I am thankful for you and your blog.

Claudia said...

Truly a feast for the eyes. I could so go to La Traviata with you. For now, will look at the details onstage and the exquisite design and imagine what you saw.

merrilymarylee said...

W-O-W! That a wonderful post to read on an icy Monday morning...and afternoon...and evening.

I would love to see you there with your camera! (Can you ask Husband to take along a small camera? :) )

Jenny said...

Good morning Pat! Absolutely grand. And I loved your Blogher link for the Lincoln review. That would be a fun giveaway to win! Have a happy Monday!

PAT said...

WOW!
Absolutely loved this Pat. I am so happy you were able to take photos. Wonderful post!

steviewren said...

What a beautiful and elaborate set! Wow. Thanks Pat. I love reading about your Met visits.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Pat, The set and the costumes for the opera are just stunning! Sumptuous! Your pictures are wonderful. I am glad that you enjoyed this so much.
♥, Susan

Vee said...

I so enjoyed reading about Turandot and seeing all these marvelous photos. It sounds like an opera I'd love to see. But La Traviata is my favorite so I'm so excited about your seeing that and look forward to that post.

Paz said...

Very cool! I look forward to reading about the other two performances that you see.

Paz

Shirleyanne said...

What a sensational evening that must have been. Quite envious, but honest, please for you.
Looks a lovely building, but the elaborate costumes+stage settings look really wonderful.
Will look forward to your other visits to the opera.
Kind Regards

Kathleen said...

Wonderful! You just ooze the culture. The next two sound fabulous too!
hmmm let's see..the last concert I saw was Jimmy Buffet at Southampton College...does it count, LOL

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Pat, what an impressive post. My husband's two favorite operas are La Boheme and La Traviata. We're looking forward to your post on those.
Sam

Jeanne said...

WoW WoW WoW! What an amazing evening. I'm so jealous! As if the beautiful building and surroundings weren't enough the music! WoW!

Jeanne said...

WoW WoW WoW! What an amazing evening. I'm so jealous! As if the beautiful building and surroundings weren't enough the music! WoW!

Mary said...

Every time I see Lincoln Center, I can't help but think of the scene from Moonstruck.. :) It looks like you had a wonderful evening, Pat. Thanks so much for sharing at MM. :)

Anonymous said...

FYI: the role of the Tenor is CALAF not Calif :-)

PEA said...

Oh my, it must be simply thrilling to be able to be in a place like that! I so loved seeing all the pictures and thoroughly enjoyed listening to the video. To me, Pavorotti was always the best:-) Having never been to an opera, after seeing your pictures and reading your words about it, it's something I would now love to do one day!! xoxo

ARLENE said...

Oh, Pat, thank you so much for this post. I tried to get to Turandot this season, but couldn't match up dates with the seats I wanted. It's been over 15 years since I had a subscription to the Met. Turandot is far and away my favorite opera. I never tire of hearing the aria Nessun Dorma and think the 3 tenors' version is sublime. Of course, now I must go look for my CD.

Kate on Clinton said...

Beautiful post and pictures! Do people still get dressed up for the opera these days?

Donna said...

Wow, what a grand time you must have had, Pat. The Met is a beautiful place.

GardenofDaisies said...

So wonderful! Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma has been a favorite of mine for years and years! My husband, (who is actually a very good singer) always sings along when we have it on CD.

Fifi Flowers said...

Oooh FAB! I saw Madame Butterfly at the Met in NYC... LOVED it!!!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Pat, You are so fortunate to get to attend the opera... I'd give my right arm to go to the opera there at the Met. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures with us. Can't wait to hear your report on the next two operas. I'm just so envious!!!! Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Betsy

Oliag said...

I still have a goal to go to the Metropolitan Opera someday....Now I am off to visit the link you shared:)

Beautiful mosaic:)

Melanie said...

It sounds like you had a fantasic evening. I do like Nessun Dorma by Andrea Bocelli

Fantastic costumes.

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

You are so LUCKY ! I LOVE being able to go see it with you......but to actually be there..and see it..and HEAR it..it all looks so grand....

I was lucky enough to see The Nutcraker in San Francisco at Christmas one year...

We Cried ! It was the MOST BEAUTIFUL thing I ever saw....

Thanks for taking us along...

more later, my friend
Kary

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Anonymous -- -you could have used your name --I don't mind when someone has a correction. I never claimed to be a perfectionist and I';m certainly not an opera expert. I am also a lousy typist and my eyes aren't what they used to be either. In any event thank you -- I'll correct the name


Kate - From my experience not many dress elaborately for opera unless it is a gala event or a premier, and they sit in the orchestra seats or expensive box seats. Most dress business casual.

Family Circle seats are only $25 a seat for weeknight opera..NYC's best entertainment value!

Just a little something from Judy said...

It must have been breathtaking to have been there in person. How sweet of you to share this amazing opera production with us. The photgraphy was so beautiful as was the music. Thank you for sharing something like this. It is a first for me.

Michael Lee West said...

Incredible photography infused with passion and energy. You MUST make an ebook.

Lorrie said...

I'm also amazed by the elaborate sets and costumes Pat--it's all done on such a grand scale. What a great evening this was for you. Thanks for giving us such a great history and view of the show.

Sue said...

I seeyou had the kids box seats again....One of these days your going to meet up with daughter and Miss B.....and hey, how did you get all those good pictures?? Didn't anyone try to detain you....Oh that's right you don't use a flash like some other idiot I know....There is only one "Boorish" person allowed to be a blogger from the South.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Turandot is one of my favorite operas and nobody does it better than the combo of Zefferelli and the Met. You ot some great shots too Pat!