I must say, this was my favourite opera at Den Norske Opera during my stay in Oslo. Hands down. It truly demonstrates that although opera companies tend to perform the same operas year in and year out, there are so many different productions and interpretations of each one. The experience can be completely changed, and you can live the story in a new way, even though you might have seen this opera before.
I saw Turandot at the Opera de Montreal last year, so I had an idea of what it would be like. It would be set in medieval China, with traditional costumes and hairdos. Boy, was I wrong!! Begins the ingenuity of director Andreas Homoki...
Before I begin, there is something you should know. I didn't know this and so I found it odd when the curtain closed and the singers took a bow right after *spoiler* Liu's suicide. I thought, maybe its just for the dress rehearsal, and they'll do the complete opera as of opening night. Except I bumped into a friend after the performance, and he told me that Puccini died before completing the opera, and that the last scene was composed by Fanco Alfano. This production is then the incomplete, but original version.
Turandot, also known as the ice princess, doesn't want to get married. She's an independent woman who doesnÃ¨t want to be ruled by a man. So basically, she's totally ahead of her time, and if she were Gen X, she wouldn't have this problem, and we wouldn't have an opera. So to discourage potential suitors, she asks them three enigmas (See what they did there with the question mark background?). What's the catch? If they fail to answer properly, they are executed. It's fair game.
Turandot is presented at Den Norske Opera throughout the month of May, and it is the last production of their 2015-2016 season. For tickets and more information, visit operaen.no.