Giacomo Puccini (1858 – 1924)

19:30 - 22:00
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Information about the work

Dramma lyrico in three acts
Libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni,
after the play by Carlo Gozzi
First performed on 25th April 1929 in Milan
Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 13th September 2008

2 hrs 30 mins / 1 interval

In Italien with German and English surtitles

Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance

recommended from 15 years
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The Children’s Chorus is sponsored by Dobolino e.V.

19:30 - 22:00
B-Prices: € 86,00 / € 66,00 / € 44,00 / € 26,00 / € 20,00
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the content

About the work
A nation is cowed by its princess. Turandot, beautiful and fascinating representative of a royal dynasty, presides over a gruesome ritual: only her marriage to a suitor will bring an end to the violence, but no would-be bridegroom has yet managed to solve the riddles. The same old spectacle plays out, ending in yet another execution, until Calaf, the son of a deposed ruler from a foreign land, unexpectedly answers the riddles correctly. He then turns the tables on Turandot, forcing her to answer his own question if she wants to steal out of her obligation. Puccini’s times are changing rapidly, the art world is going through drastic transformation and new, abstract forms are being coined to reflect modern-day experience. And the composer, in his early 60s, is again trying to break new ground.

Puccini spent the last four years of his life working on TURANDOT, based on a fairy tale by Carlo Gozzi [1762]. The score was his richest and altogether most dissonant. Far from being the soundtrack to a cutesy picture of a doll-like China, the exotic music provided the backdrop to a world suffused in an atmosphere of unimaginable cruelty. Try as he might, Puccini never did settle on a resolution to his drama. The composer who was ever leery of happy endings never managed to escape from the dead-end that he’d created for himself through Liù’s sacrifice and the imminent pairing of Turandot and Calaf. The question of how the two might ever discover some common ground remained unanswered. Puccini was variously intrigued and repelled by the idea of presenting of an all-encompassing love as a means to redemption in the face of everything that speaks against it – and could not bring himself to paint such a utopia. He left only a fragment behind when he died and the Ricordi publishing house brought in the composer Franco Alfano to complete the opera, based on sketches left behind by Puccini.

About the production
Lorenzo Fioroni’s production sets the action of the story in a fairy-tale realm of indeterminable period but one which nonetheless is reminiscent of modern-day dictatorships. The riddle and execution scenes are dwelt on and give the impression that violence plays a ritualistic, quasi-religious role. Pitted against this is the desire, expressed repeatedly by the elite and the plebs, to end the oppression and see all groups reconciled. It is on this taut spectrum between violent rule and a yearning for love that Calaf and Turandot circle each other. Yet instead of pouring oil on troubled waters, the new couple usher in a new era of terror.

Fioroni rummages in the psychologies of the main protagonists and discovers in both a marked tendency towards violence. Calaf, too, is the scion of a former despot and, by looking on as Liù sacrifices herself for him, shows that saving face and achieving his goals is more important to him than saving lives. And it is this area of unscrupulous overlap that makes his final pact with Turandot plausible. And so it goes: their unfolding passion is reflected not in an overturning of the brutal system but in a continuation of tyranny.

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Adventskalender im Foyer: Das 1. Fensterchen

Today in the foyer: "An American Christmas"
Favourite songs from North and South America
with Julie Wyma, Valeria Delmé and Jamison Livsey
5.00 p.m. / Rank foyer on the right
Duration: approx. 25 minutes / free admission

From the frosty north of Alaska to the southernmost tip of Chile, from Buenos Aires to New York City - the Advent season is celebrated across the entire American double continent. But there are huge differences in how Christmas is celebrated. This diversity is also reflected in the music that precedes and accompanies the festivities. While the Argentinian composer Ariel Ramírez takes up the lively rhythms of South American dances in his cantata "Navidad Nuestra" ("Our Christmas"), songs such as "White Christmas" or "I'll Be Home for Christmas" succeed in translating the contemplative into the popular in a unique way. Join sopranos Julie Wyma and Valeria Delmé and pianist Jamison Livsey on a journey through the musical realms on the other side of the Atlantic.

Julie Wyma comes from the USA and studied at the universities of Indiana, Missouri and Arizona. Numerous performances on the opera and concert stage have taken her throughout the USA and Europe. Since the 2021/22 season, she has been a member of the Deutsche Oper Berlin chorus as 1st soprano, where she not only sings in the major choral operas with her colleagues, but also takes on a solo role as La Conversa in SUOR ANGELICA. In addition to her work as a singer, Julie Wyma is also active as a singing teacher, costume designer and director.

Valeria Delmé was born in Buenos Aires and gained her first musical experience at an early age, including as a soloist in the children's chorus of the Teatro Colón. This was followed by further opera performances on various stages in Argentina and training at the Conservatorio Superior de Música "Manuel de Falla" before she began performing regularly in Germany in 2017. Valeria Delmé now sings as 2nd soprano in the chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

The pianist and conductor Jamison Livsey studied at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 2016, he conducted a premiere of TURN OF THE SCREW in Tel Aviv. He has worked as a répétiteur with conducting engagements at many opera companies, including Minnesota Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Cleveland, Anchorage Opera, Opera in Williamsburg, Toledo Opera, Sugar Creek Symphony and Song, Pine Mountain Music Festival and Opera North. He has also appeared with these opera companies as a harpsichordist and orchestral pianist with a repertoire ranging from Monteverdi and Rossini to the present day. He has worked as a guest conductor at Opera Santa Barbara. He is also active as a Lied accompanist, including for Vivica Genaux. At the Deutsche Oper Berlin, he works as a répétiteur in the chorus.