Three riddles are all that stand between certain death and the hand of the fair maiden Turandot. Bachelors from near and far try and fail until Prince Calaf spies Turandot on her balcony, instantly falls for her and decides to tempt fate by answering the riddle. He succeeds, but Turandot is distraught. She would rather die a horrible death then be married to a foreign Prince. Calaf offers her a chance to avoid marriage by just guessing his name. Suddenly, all of Peking is turned upside down as the Princess seeks the name of her suitor. She is foiled at every angle. In the end, she finds that love is the answer.
The story of Turandot was taken from the Persian collection of stories called The Book of One Thousand and One Days but wasn’t put to music until 1920 when Giacomo Puccini started to compose it. Upon his death in 1924, Puccini had still not completed the final duet and Franco Alfano was selected to finish the opera. To this day, the debate over which version of the ending is better, (Alfano’s or what Puccini had started) is still open. Regardless, Turandot will immerse the audience in splendid melodies and scenes of epic theatricality. The opera’s famous aria, Nessun Dorma, is one of opera’s most impressive.
Sung in Italian with English supertitles, audiences can enjoy Opera Columbus’ version February 20th – 22nd at the Ohio Theatre. WOSU’s Christopher Purdy will give pre-curtain talks starting an hour before each show. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com.