Opera Australia Turandot - photo by Georges AntoniGraeme Murphy’s bold vision of the icy princess Turandot bursts back into the State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne this November with powerhouse American soprano and Melbourne crowd favourite Lise Lindstrom in the title role.

Turandot is a beautiful and powerful princess, who challenges her many suitors to answer three riddles on pain of death. No one has ever succeeded. Calaf is a brave prince from a foreign land, who falls instantly in love with the princess. Despite the wishes of his exiled father and the pleas of a slave-girl who loves him, he rings the gong and declares his love for the princess.

She presents her riddles, and in triumph, the unknown prince answers. Turandot despairs and the prince takes pity – offering the ice-cold princess a riddle of his own. But Calaf’s riddle risks more than his own life – everyone else’s hangs in the balance.

Following her acclaimed performance in the 2016 Ring Cycle, Lise Lindstrom will return to Melbourne to perform one of her signature roles, Turandot. Lauded as having “a commanding voice and an equally commanding presence” (Limelight), Lindstrom is known worldwide for her portrayal of the impervious princess.

The role of Turandot’s brave suitor, Calàf will be sung by Italian tenor Walter Fraccaro who has performed the role around the world. Singing one of the most magnificent and universally recognised tenor arias of all time – Nessun dorma, which was popularised by the late great Luciano Pavarotti at the 1990 Football World Cup, Fraccaro will demonstrate why this powerful operatic showpiece has become such a global sensation.

Stunning Korean soprano Karah Son returns to OA as the devoted servant Liù after playing Madama Butterfly to great acclaim earlier this year. A host of Australian talent will also star including powerful bass Richard Anderson as Timur, John Longmuir, Virgilio Marino and Christopher Hillier as the trio Pong, Pang and Ping, Graham Macfarlane as the Emperor and Andrew Moran as Mandarin.

Romanian-American Maestro Christian Badea – a favourite at The Met in New York, having conducted there more than 160 times, returns to Australia to unleash Puccini’s sensational score.

Murphy’s daring production for Puccini’s final opera is considered one of the ultimate classics in the Opera Australia repertoire. Featuring the director’s own famous choreography, sculptural stagecraft and larger than life costumes, this renowned staging of Turandot has transformed an already powerful drama into a spectacular piece of theatre.

A fantasy opera of poetry and myth, Turandot is set in an exotic world where fear and love go hand in hand and death is always just around the corner. Puccini buffs and first-time opera-goers alike will be transported to another world, captivated by Turandot’s powerful score, mesmerising staging and captivating story. This is a must-see opera, that is guaranteed to impress.

Born in Tuscany in 1858, Giacomo Puccini is an Italian composer who took Verdi’s crown as the most prominent composer of Italian opera in his day. Renowned for his love affairs, Puccini left a trail of broken hearts across Italy, but also left us 10 beautiful operas, three of which are regularly in the top 10 of operas performed around the world.

Conductor: Christian Badea Director & Choreographer: Graeme Murphy Starring: Lise Lindstrom, Walter Fraccaro, Karah Son, Richard Anderson, Christopher Hillier, Virgilio Marino, John Longmuir, Graeme Macfarlane, Andrew Moran, Leah Thomas, Katherine Wiles, Dean Bassett, Opera Australia Chorus, Opera Australia Children’s Chorus, Orchestra Victoria Revival Director: Kim Walker Set Designer: Kristian Frederikson Lighting Designer: John Drummond Montgomery Assistant Director: Miranda Summers Assistant Choreographer: Tim Farrar

State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 19 November – 6 December 2019
Bookings: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au

For more information, visit: www.opera.org.au for details.

Image: Turandot – photo by Georges Antoni