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Puccini's Turandot

The last of Puccini's operas, Turandot is set in long-ago China. It is the story of Prince Calàf, who falls in love with the forbidding Princess Turandot. In order to marry her, a suitor has to solve three riddles; any incorrect answer will result in death. Puccini began work on the score in early 1921, and left it nearly finished—all but the final duet—when he died in late 1924. The score was completed from Puccini’s sketches by Franco Alfano (1875–1954), and the first performance was given in April 1926. The set designs for that production were the work of Galileo Chini (1873–1956) and evoke the exotic splendor of the ancient East, as do the elaborate costumes traditionally worn by the title character. A Moravian soprano renowned for her singing of Puccini, Maria Jeritza (1887–1982) starred as Turandot in the North American premiere of the work at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, on November 16, 1926.
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