The opera season returns to Bogotá, and this year, the task is nothing short of epic: bringing to the stage Giacomo Puccini’s last magum opus: Turandot.
Turandot is no light task for any opera company, yet the Ópera de Colombia has proven – year after year – that it can present the most challenging works in this musical genre, such as last year’s Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner. Interpreting the leading role of Turandot is Italian Soprano Francesca Patané. Born into a musical family in Milan, Italy (as both her father and grandfather were famous conductors), Francesca has taken to the stage in more than 300 performances of Turandot and her lyric-dramatic voice is matched to Puccini. As an Ambassador for Italian music, she arranges concerts and opera performances in which she also promotes new talent. Patané has received a number of prestigious awards, such as the Puccini Award and the Verdi Award, and has recorded Turandot in various productions.
In the role of Calaf, is Korean Rudy Park, and responsible for singing the celebrated “Nessun dorma” aria. Making her debut in the role of Liú is soprano Betty Garcés, and heralded as one of the promising voices of this nation. Baritone Valeriano Lanchas interprets Turandot’s minister ‘Ping’ and Andrés Felipe Orozco makes his debut as ‘Pang.’ The musical direction is in the hands of Italian conductor Marco Boemi, as well as the musicians of the Bogotá Youth Orchestra – Orquesta Filarmónica Juvenil de Bogotá. The 80 strong choir of the Ópera de Colombia accompanies the best young talent of the city with the incorporation of the childrens’ choir Coro Infantil Batuta.
Puccini’s exhuberant masterpriece is a love story cast in the Peking of princess Turandot, a hater of men, and whose suitors must answer three riddles she poses, or die. Calaf pases the test, yet Turandot refuses to marry him. In the third act, audiences are swept away by one of the great arias ever to have been composed: ‘Nessum Dorma.” The opera, however, was unfinished at the time of Puccini’s death in 1924. The first performance was held at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in 1926, and conducted by Arturo Toscanini.
As a major sponsor of the Ópera de Colombia, Carulla is offering a 50 percent discount on advance ticket sales when cashing in 3000 supermarket points. So sit back and enjoy an ancient love story which continues to resonate through time.