“Turandot” to Be Staged in Unusual Format at Astana Opera

ASTANA – “Turandot” will be performed for the first time in the new “opera quest” format at Astana Opera Dec. 1.


Photo credit: Astana Opera House

The masterpiece by Giacomo Puccini will be presented as a three-act performance by the soloists, chorus and symphony orchestra of the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre as part of their one-day visit to Astana.

“We specifically decided to stage ‘Turandot,’ as it was one of the most successful premieres this year. The classical opera traditions are closely connected with the charm of the mysterious East in this play. I again want to emphasise that stage designers from Kazakhstan Sofya Tasmagambetova and Pavel Dragunov made a huge contribution to the creation of this performance. I am eternally grateful for their talented work,” said Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre General Director Vladimir Kekhman in a press release by the Novosibirsk theatre.

The action of the drama about all-conquering and sacrificial love is set against a background of abstract paintings by Wassily Kandinsky.

“The English words ‘quest’ and ‘question’ are derived from the Medieval Latin term ‘questa’ – search, question. There is a quest as well as questions in the plot, a quest for answers to the questions Princess Turandot asks the princes seeking her hand in marriage,” said director Viacheslav Starodubtsev, noting that other key characters in the drama also provide riddles of their own.

“I hope the audience will fall in love with the opera quest genre just as the artistic and production team did,” he said.

International competition laureate and Golden Mask National Theatre Festival winner Olga Kolobova will play Princess Turandot and Roman Zavadsky will play Calaf. National and international competition winner and Golden Mask National Theatre Festival diploma winner Irina Churilova will play Liu and honoured artist of Russia Vladimir Ognev is to perform the part of Timur.

Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre music director and chief conductor Dmitri Jurowski will conduct the play and honoured worker of Russia Vyacheslav Podyelsky is the choirmaster.

The last, unfinished work created by the great Italian composer is known for its depth and drama, its subtle harmonies and its original use of Chinese motifs. The work was first performed at La Scala in 1926.

The Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre first toured Kazakhstan in 2014 with Roland Petit’s “Carmen” ballet and Edwaard Liang’s “Whispers in the Dark.”


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