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  Turandot at Lyric Opera


Lyric Opera
20 N. Wacker Drive Chicago

Turandot (1926), the final work of Puccini's career, showcases the composer's magnificent melodic outpourings (including the tenor's celebrated "Nessun dorma") and reveals Puccini at his peak as a creator of exotically beautiful orchestration. Taking place in ancient Peking, the story centers on the icy Princess Turandot, who will marry the prince who answers her three riddles correctly, but any suitor who fails is put to death. Calaf is the unknown prince who falls in love with Turandot at first sight and, victorious in the riddles, challenges her to learn his name. Calaf is loved by the slave Liù, who serves his father Timur, the exiled Tartar king. The lighter side of the opera is contributed by Turandot's three lively ministers - Ping, Pang, and Pong.

Thru - Jan 27, 2018

Show Type: Opera

Box Office: 312-332-2244

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  Turandot Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...Lyric has unaccountably swapped its handsome 1992 David Hockney production for dowdy sets and costumes by Allen Charles Klein that have traveled to three other U.S. companies since they were introduced more than 30 years ago in Miami. They have not aged well, nor do they do much to reinforce the music drama unfolding onstage."
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John von Rhein

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Staged by the British director Rob Kearley, “Turandot” is high on grandeur and full of sublime voices. Wagner’s Turandot is perhaps more Wagnerian than Puccini-esque, but she uses her formidable soprano to suggest power as well as personal terror, with an especially fine rendering of the aria “In questa reggia” (“In this palace”). Emblematic of La Colla’s full, velvety tenor is his beautiful rendering of “Nessun dorma” (“None shall sleep”). That said, the chemistry between the two leaves something to be desired."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago On the Aisle - Recommended

"...The Lyric Opera Orchestra is its absolute best here under music director Andrew Davis, powering the drama forward with rhythmic precision and propulsive pacing, and giving rich voice to Puccini’s evocative score. There are instrumental highlights aplenty, from ably handled solos to the keen playing throughout by the percussion section, which is especially on its game."
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Kyle MacMillan

Stage and Cinema - Somewhat Recommended

"...Puccini's Turandot might be a compelling drama, but this production of it is not. There's much to recommend in the exotic costumes, sets and music, as well as the mostly excellent performances of the soloists, Lyric Opera Chorus and Chicago Children's Choir, but the overall effect is dissatisfying."
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Barnaby Hughes

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...The Lyric’s chorus, led by Michael Black, are outstanding as always, but his production also features a children’s chorus, led by Josephine Lee. The latter is delightful and helps movement director August Tye to keep this shadowy little world spinning. This production of Turandot won’t leave an audience feeling like the problem of how to turn it into an acceptable feel-good love story has been solved, but it does present something that is mysterious and fascinating, and supplies some of the best of Puccini’s music."
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Jacob Davis

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...La Colla’s tenor is reminiscent of Caruso, flattening out at the top with a screaming “virile” ring that pierces the ear accustomed to the effervescent vibrato of Pavarotti. Agresta’s soprano is lighter than expected in a role most often assigned to a lirico-spinto. However, Agresta’s sound comes across as youthful and vulnerable. Both of these casting choices serve the production well. I have never been a fan of Andrea Silvestrelli (Timur) but last night he won me over, singing with a warm timbre, creating a gut-wrenching character, stumbling blindly into his senility."
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Aaron Hunt

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...As it’s done for other operas, Lyric Opera shaved off an intermission making TURANDOT tighter and shorter. This change is targeted at the sensibilities of a contemporary audience. And it’s appreciated! I highly recommend this TURANDOT. The primary reasons are Puccini and Nessun Dorma. I love both! And this production brings Puccini to life with amazing pageantry and outstanding performances. Like Calaf, by the end, you will win! You will win! You will win!"
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Katy Walsh

Chicagoland Musical Theatre - Recommended

"...The brilliance of the design and the pure, raw talent from the musicians onstage and in the pit give a new hope to the future of opera as an art form. This is not the stodgy, dusty art form of centuries past. This is the opera of the 21st century, a decadent, passionate treat for any theater lover."
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Jane Recker

Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...Zooming in too closely on the details of this nearly 100-year-old production may prove problematic today, but the production remains a striking gem in another stellar season presented by the Lyric. Seemingly no expense is spared, and top talent graces the stage and fills the orchestra pit. Better to stay at arm's length to appreciate the fairy tale for the fantastical, even slightly dystopian, world it creates. At that distance, there's no awkwardness around the productions cliched version of ancient China or Turandot's otherwise inexplicable about-face into the arms of love the moment Calaf literally forces a kiss on her. If it's possible to set aside the uncomfortable bits (and is it, really?), what's left is a stunning production of a career-capping opera that makes for an exceptional night at the theater."
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Lisa Trifone

Picture This Post - Highly Recommended

"...The moment the curtain rises on a vermillion hued scene, great epics of cinema featuring casts of thousands come to mind—Ben Hur, Gandhi, and the like. It’s not that the numbers in the Lyric Opera Chorus with supernumerary padding has multiplied so many times over. Rather, it’s the way in which this superb Production Design by Allen Charles Klein, coupled with exquisitely timed lighting design by Chris Marovich, brings cinematographer-like sensibilities to bear on this interpretation of Puccini’s last opera and fairy tale, Turandot."
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Amy Munice

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