July 21, 2019
Latest News
Entertainment

Puccini's unfinished 'Turandot' debuts in Japan with tragic ending

By Nora Olivé.

Tokyo, Jul 12 (efe-epa).- A new rendition of "Turandot," the unfinished opera classic by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, premiered on Friday in Japan's capital with an appropriately tragic ending.

Puccini (1858-1924) died before completing his final opus, though his compatriot Franco Alfano furnished it with his own conclusion two years after the death of the renowned author of all-time greats "La bohème," "Tosca" and "Madame Butterfly."

This new version discards Alfano's ending in favor of one that feels more in sync with Puccini's likely intentions.

"It seemed logical to us that we couldn't go for a happy ending, given the characters' idiosyncrasies and the situation they are going through," Spanish director Àlex Ollé told EFE in an interview in Tokyo ahead of the premiere.

The devastating trauma that turns the life of the titular princess upside down is the centerpiece of Olle's production, whose carefully staged mise-en-scène builds up to a narrative denouement that opts for the most dreadful out of all possible endings.

"It could have been an option for Puccini," Ollé said.

The opera's plot, which takes place in the imperial Peking of legendary times, is fundamentally dramatic: it involves a distressed princess who refuses marriage because her ancestor, Princess Lo-u-Ling, was raped and murdered by a foreign prince.

"I am thinking about portraying that this fact nursed her hatred of men," Ollé wrote in an essay published on the website of Tokyo's New National Theater, which will host one of the performances.

Turandot claims her forebear's spirit lives within her and seeks revenge against men, which is why she forces all prospective suitors to answer three riddles, with failure being punished by beheading.

Puccini's concept for what the opera's last 20 minutes should be will forever remain an enigma, both in terms of music and narrative.

Alfano's traditional version, though, ends with the triumph of romance between the main character and Calaf, a prince who risks his head to woo Turandot, with whom he fell in love at first sight.

"Turandot is usually portrayed as a story with a happy ending," Ollé said. "When staging or looking back to Puccini's operas up to Turandot though, I think there is no way it can end happily. Puccini did not like happy endings."

That is why he opted for a tragic resolution, in which Turandot refuses Calaf's love and commits suicide.

This rendering of Puccini's classic will play at four theaters in Japan: the famous Bunka Kaikan concert hall, where it debuted on Friday and is set to run until Sunday, the NNT (July 18-22) , the Biwako Hall near Kyoto (July 27-28) and the Sapporo Cultural Arts Theater in the capital of the northern island of Hokkaido (Aug. 3-4) .

The music is expertly performed by the Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra, conducted by Japanese maestro Kazushi Ono.

nov-dl/tw

News history
Princess Mako honors memory of Japanese who died in Bolivia

Okinawa I, Bolivia, Jul 19 (efe-epa).- Princess Mako of Japan honored this Friday the memory of her migrant compatriots who died in Bolivia at a monument in...

Germany returns painting stolen by Nazis to Florence

Rome, July 19 (efe-epa).- More than 75 years after being looted by Nazi troops during World War Two, a stolen painting has been returned to its rightful...

Tired tiger takes nap in resident's bed in a flooded area of Assam

New Delhi, Jul 19 (efe-epa).- A tigress was found napping on a bed inside a house in India's flood-ravaged state of Assam.

Buckingham Palace celebrates 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth

London, Jul 19 (efe-epa).- An exhibition at Buckingham Palace will celebrate how Queen Victoria transformed the royal residence into a symbol of the British...

Dutch royal family poses for annual photo shoot

Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima pose during the annual royal photo session in the garden of Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.

By Imane Rachidi

By Jesus Centeno

Happy 40th birthday: Tokyo exhibit evokes Walkman nostalgia

By Nora Olive

"Terminator" steals the show at Comic-Con opening

David Villafranca

South Sudan laughs its way to peace

By Atem Simon Mabior

The Mexican clothing brand named after El Chapo

By Mariana González

La "Vieja dama" cumple 325 años a cargo del monedero de la nación

By Judith Mora

Japan receives record number of foreign tourists in first half of 2019

Tokyo, Jul 17 (efe-epa).- Japan welcomed a record number of foreign tourists, 16.63 million, in the first six months of this year, according to official...

Retired SCOTUS Justice John Paul Stevens dies aged 99

Washington DC, Jul 16 (efe-epa).- John Paul Stevens, who served as a justice on the Supreme Court of the United States for 35 years and became an...

Los Angeles, Jul 16 (epa-efe).- "Game of Thrones" on Tuesday racked up a record 32 Emmy Award nominations, thus becoming the series that has received the...

Performers take part in traditional Kyrgyzstan festival

Performers take part in traditional Central Asian activities during a festival in Ton village, near Issyk-Kul lake, Kyrgyzstan.

Meet India's ‘snakeman’ who has caught 222,000 serpents

By Sarwar Kashani

Princess Mako thanks Bolivia for 120 years welcoming Japanese migrants

La Paz, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- Princess Mako of Japan thanked Bolivia this Monday for the welcome it has extended over the past 120 years to Japanese migrants...

San Juan Parangaricutiro, Mexico's Pompeii buried by Paricutin volcano

By Manuel Soberanes Cobo

Mooning US tourist released after obscene photo at pyramids of Giza

(Update 1: Adds the release of the tourist)

Boys in Bangkok get heads, eyebrows shaved during Buddhist ceremony

Hill tribe boys in Bangkok have had the hair on their heads shaved Sunday as part of a mass Buddhist monk ordination ceremony at Wat Benchamabophit, also...

The Rock, Jason Statham, Idris Elba attend Fast and Furious premiere

Los Angeles, USA, Jul 14 (efe-epa).- Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Idris Elba and Jason Statham have in Los Angeles attended the world premiere of "Hobbs and...

Transgender models walk the ramp at Miami Swim Week

Miami, United States, Jul 13 (EFE).- A dozen transgender models walked the ramp at the Miami Swim Week with the show themed around the topics of...

Spain's Running of the Bulls festivities draw to close for another year

The San Fermin festival, also known as the Running of the Bulls, that takes place in Pamplona every year drew to a close on Sunday.

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.