Colossal and colourful, spectacular and intimate—that’s a night at the opera as Vancouver Opera presents Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot, the opening production of the company’s exciting 2017–2018 season. To stunning effect, Puccini’s final opera combines his musical mastery with a tale as old as time. Based on Persian legend, and set in ancient Beijing (Peking), Turandot is the dramatic story of an icy princess, emotionally imprisoned by her own vengeful cruelty, who sets herself and her people free when she opens her heart to love. Among the many highlights in Turandot is Calaf’s show-stopping aria “Nessun Dorma.”
This stunning production is a creation of Quebecois director-designer duo Renaud Doucet and André Barbe. Vancouver Opera’s storytelling features lush gold’s and deep reds, with circular ornamentation symbolizing the cycle of life and death. There are dark corners and brightly lit moons. The massive collection of chorus singers, dancers, and children reinforced by VO’s own orchestra ensure the absolute grandness of Turandot.
Towering sets and lavish costumes complement incredible singers, the 64-piece Vancouver Opera Orchestra, and a 52-member chorus in Puccini’s Turandot. The cast features the vocal talents of sensational soprano Amber Wagner making a role debut as Turandot, as well as tenor Marcelo Puente, making his Vancouver Opera debut as Calaf, and Alain Coulombe singing the role of Timur.
American soprano Amber Wagner has been featured in Opera News as one of twenty-five artists poised to break out and become a major force in classical music in the coming decade. New York Times described her as possessing a “powerful, gleaming and richly expressive voice [which] was ideal for the music.”
Argentine tenor Marcelo Puente is rapidly gaining recognition as an important lirico-spinto tenor at such theatres as the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oper Stuttgart, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, State Opera Prague, and several others. In the current season, he has made several significant debuts: at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, opposite Ermonela Jaho and conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano, at the Hamburg State Opera.
French-Canadian bass Alain Coulombe is a favourite of international critics and public alike. In a career spanning over 25 years, he has collaborated with outstanding conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Helmut Rilling, Richard Bradshaw, Kent Nagano, Bernard Labadie, Mark Albrecht, Edoardo Muller, Alain Altinoglu, Ingo Metzmacher and Richard Bonynge.
Maestro Jacques Lacombe, last seen conducting VO’s 2014 production of Carmen, returns to interpret this lavish score, which features on of opera’s most famous arias – “Nessun dorma.” Jacques Lacombe is renowned as a “gifted and ambitious” conductor (The New York Times) whose artistic integrity and rapport with musicians and orchestras have propelled him to international stature.
Opening night of Turandot is Friday, October 13, 2017, with subsequent performances Sunday, October 15 – Thursday, October 19 – Saturday, October 21. All performances take place at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Georgia and Hamilton Streets, Vancouver, B.C. and begin at 7:30 pm, with matinees at 2:00 pm. Tickets ranging in price from $49 to $135 are available at the Vancouver Opera Ticket Centre, by telephone (604-683-0222), or online at www.vancouveropera.ca.
Turandot is performed in Italian with English SurTitles™ projected above the stage.