The Cleveland Opera


by Giacomo Puccini

  • Saturday, June 4, 2022 at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, June 5, 2022 at 3:30 pm
Mimi Ohio Theatre, PlayhouseSquare
1511 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland OH 44115

Turandot is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini, posthumously completed by Franco Alfano in 1926, and set to a libretto in Italian by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni.

About the Opera

As with Madama Butterfly, the great Italian composer Puccini composed an Italian verismo opera with a pentatonic coloring, which may be considered intense. Up to eight of the musical themes in Turandot appear to be based on traditional Chinese music and anthems, and the melody of a Chinese song known as “Jasmine," became a motif for the princess.

Puccini left the opera unfinished at the time of his death in 1924; Franco Alfano completed it in 1926. The first performance took place at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 25 April 1926, conducted by Arturo Toscanini. The performance included only Puccini's music without Alfano's additions. The first performance of the opera as completed by Alfano was performed on the next evening, 26 April, although it is disputed whether the second performance was conducted by Toscanini or by Ettore Panizza.

The Story

The opera is set in historic China. Prince Calaf falls in love with the cold Princess Turandot. In order to obtain permission to marry her, a suitor must solve three riddles. Any single wrong answer will result in the suitor's execution. Unlike previous suitors, Calaf passes the test; but Turandot refuses to marry him. He offers her a way out: if she is able to guess his name before dawn the next day, he will accept death.

Turandot is a Persian word and name that means "daughter of Turan", Turan being a region of Central Asia, formerly part of the Persian Empire.


Tickets will be available through PlayhouseSquare.