James Lee as Calaf in Turandot

TURANDOT – G.Puccini

Seoul Arts Center

Puccini’s final opera “Turandot” is no doubt one of the most famous opera works in history with its powerful story of achieving seemingly impossible love, along with heart-penetrating arias, including “Nessun dorma (None shall sleep).” The new production of this grand three-act opera is being staged in Seoul this week. The Seoul Arts Center presents its new rendition of “Turandot” for 10 days from Aug. 8 to 18 at its CJ Towol Theater as its annual flagship “Family Opera” program. 

Since 2001, the arts center has been staging a “Family Opera” production annually, hoping to expand the viewership of the opera genre to a wider audience in the nation. More than 126,000 have been counted to enjoy the annual opera productions during the past 18 years. This year, the arts center handpicked Puccini’s “Turandot,” inviting internationally renowned Korean opera singers, including Lilla Lee and James Lee, who are actively performing in various European theaters. 

This opera tells the story of how Chinese princess Turandot’s cold-blooded heart transforms and melts with a lofty power of love and sacrifice, shown by prince Calaf and his slave girl Liu. The libretto was written by Adami and Simoni, based upon Schiller’s play “Turandot,” which is adapted from Cozzi’s original fable story. 

Turandot was premiered in April 1926 at La Scala in Milan, Italy; this grand three-act opera was left incomplete, when Puccini suddenly passed away in November 1924. But Puccini had written most of the opera, and only the final scenes were added by Italian composer Franco Alfano after Puccini’s death.
… By Anna J. Park

08.08.2019 Premiere / 10.08.2019
11.08.2019 / 14.08.2019
16.08.2019 / 17.08.2019

Turandot Lilla Lee
Calaf James Lee 
Liù Shinhye Kim
Altoum Byung-Ho Jeon
Timur Chul Jun Kim
Ping Jong Pyo Kim 
Pang Jaeil Kim
Pong Kyung Bum Roh

Conductor Hee-Chuhn Choi
Stage director Hyunjin Pyo

James Lee as Calaf in Turandot