Puccini's final opera, based on a Persian tale that the composer moved to ancient China, tells of a beautiful princess who attracts suitors from around the world. Each potential mate is posed three questions. If he answers them correctly, he wins the princess's hand; but if he fails, he's beheaded.
The protagonist, Calaf, does answer the three riddles and asks the princess one of his own. If she finds the right answer, then she doesn't have to marry him. Puccini died before he could finish the final act, but Gustavo Dudamel conducts the opera here with the traditional Franco Alfano ending.
American soprano Lise Lindstrom sings the title role, and Azerbaijani tenor Yusif Eyvazov takes on the role of Calaf, who sings the famous aria "Nessun dorma." Lisa Simeone hosts.
World of Opera airs Thursdays at 4 pm, Saturdays at 5 pm and Sundays at 1 pm on the Operavore stream.
Turandot: Lise Lindstrom (soprano)
Calaf: Yusif Eyvazov (tenor)
Liù: Anita Hartig (soprano)
Timur: Dan Paul Dumitrescu (bass)
Emperor Altoum: Heinz Zednik (tenor)
Ping: Gabriel Bermúdez (baritone)
Pang: Carolos Osuna (tenor)
Pong: Norbert Ernst (tenor)
Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Conductor: Gustavo Dudamel