Thursday, February 2, 2017

Puccini's opera 'Turandot' will be in JAX for one evening

Puccini’s final masterpiece “Turandot” comes to Jacksonville’s Times-Union Center, Moran Theater for one performance only. Turandot is based on the Greek myth “the riddle of the sphinx”.  The opera's story takes place in the ancient “Forbidden City” of Peking and is performed in three acts.

Act 1: In a legendary time, at the square in front of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, the Princess, Turandot, is a woman of great beauty, but has a cold heart that is as cold as ice. She said, “Any prince seeking to marry me must answer three riddles.  But if he fails, he will have to die.”  At the square, a failed prince’s fate, who is going to the guillotine, excites a lot of the audience’s blood. In the crowd, a vanquished king of Tartary, Timur, meets his long-lost son, Prince Calaf, again.  Calaf falls in love with Turandot at first sight. He proclaims to try to answer her three riddles.  One of Timur’s slave girls, Liu, attempts to stop his reckless resolve, but his determination strengthens.

Act 2: Turandot appears, and begins to ask Calaf her three riddles.
Q1. What thing is reborn every night? ...A. ‘Hope’
Q2. What burns hot, but is not fire? ...A. ‘Blood’
Q3. What ice can make fire? ...A. ‘Turandot’
Calaf successfully answers her three riddles.  Turandot is upset, and refuses to marry him.  Calaf says to her, “If you can learn my name by dawn, I will forfeit my life.”

Act 3: Turandot gives the crowd in Beijing an order not to sleep until someone learns his name. The people of Beijing frantically find out his name.  They catch Liu.  Turandot asks Liu why she never says his name.  Liu answers that it is because of her love to him, and kills herself.  After the crowd goes home, Turandot remains alone to confront Calaf.  Then, Calaf gives away his name to her.  At the break of dawn, Turandot proclaims the victory to learn his name in front of the crowd.  She says to the crowd, “His name is …Love”, and she then concedes defeat and marries him.

The opera was unfinished at the time of Puccini's death in 1924, and was completed by Franco Alfano in 1926.

Puccini’s Turandot
DATE: Tuesday, February 21, 2017
TIME: 7:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Times Union Center Performing Arts
      Moran Theater
      300 West Water St.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202

TICKETS: start at $32.25, and may be purchased online at FSCJ Artist Series, sponsored by Chase (the official presenter of the Jacksonville show), or by calling (904) 442-BWAY (2929) between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.  Discounts are available for groups of 10+ by calling (904) 442-2947 or emailing

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