Italian opera: Puccini - Turandot - Taalhuis Amsterdam

Italian opera: Puccini – Turandot

Learn more about the Italian opera!

Each 2 hour session is centred around a different lyrical masterpiece. Our Italian teacher Anna will talk about the historical context, the author and the plot of the opera. Of course you’ll also listen to and study some of the most famous arias.

The course is in Italian! A B1 level (or higher) is required to follow this class.


6 July – Turandot

‘Turandot’ is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini, set to a libretto in Italian by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni. Its most well-known aria is ‘Nessun dorma’. The original story is based on one of the seven stories in the epic Haft Peykar; a work of 12th-century Persian poet Nizami – the story of Tuesday. In the first line of the story, the protagonist is identified as a Russian princess. The name of the opera is based on Turan-Dokht (daughter of Turan), which is a common name used in Persian poetry for Central Asian princesses. The opera’s version of the story is set in China.

The opera was unfinished at the time of Puccini’s death in 1924, and was completed by Franco Alfano in 1926. The first performance was held at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 25 April 1926 and conducted by Arturo Toscanini. This performance included only Puccini’s music and not Alfano’s additions. The first performance of the opera as completed by Alfano was the following night, 26 April, although it is disputed whether this was conducted by Toscanini again or by Ettore Panizza.

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