Met Live in HD: Puccini’s 'Turandot' at the Goddard Center

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Christine Goerke in the title role of Puccini's “Turandot.” Photo by Marty Sohl, courtesy of Metropolitan Opera.

The Goddard Center presents an encore performance in HD from The Metropolitan Opera, Puccini’s “Turandot” on Saturday, May 22. Admission is $20 for the general public, $15 for Goddard Members and senior citizens, and $10 students.

A light meal, included in the cost of admission, will be served one hour prior to the performance at noon. The show will start at 1 p.m. Members, sponsors and the general public alike must call and make reservations to guarantee food service. At door ticket sales will not include a meal at a $5 reduced price.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we ask that visitors abide by social-distancing guidelines. Masks are required in the building. Masks will be provided upon request. Common touch points are sanitized throughout the day and hand-sanitizer is provided in the lobby.

Puccini’s final opera is an epic fairy tale set in a China of legend, loosely based on a play by 18th-century Italian dramatist Carlo Gozzi. Featuring a most unusual score with an astounding and innovative use of chorus and orchestra, it is still recognizably Puccini, bursting with instantly appealing melody. The unenviable task of completing the opera’s final scene upon Puccini’s sudden death was left to the composer Franco Alfano. Conductor Arturo Toscanini oversaw Alfano’s contribution and led the world premiere.

In Gozzi’s play, the original commedia dell’arte characters wandered from Italy to China and were members of the Imperial court. Their comments satirized Venetian politics and mores of the times. Puccini and his librettists dispensed with any such relevance. The China of this opera, set in “legendary times,” is a mythic realm viewed from the exoticizing perspective of 20th-century Europeans.

The large Turandot orchestra calls for a wide variety of instruments, including alto saxophones, celesta, bass xylophone, harps, and an organ. There are several genuine Chinese themes that are integrated into the score in a suave and brilliantly original manner, including the big imperial anthem in Act II. The opera also contains moments of sheer melodic beauty in Puccini’s lyrical vein, most notably in the tenor’s unforgettable song of triumph, “Nessun dorma,” which opens Act III.

The Goddard Center’s Met Live in HD Season will continue with an airing of back-to-back solo concerts by two of the Met's biggest stars, Renée Fleming and Jonas Kaufman on Thursday, June 17th.

The Goddard Center is located at 401 1st Ave SW in Ardmore. For more information please call the business office at (580) 226-0909 or visit our website at goddardcenter.org. National Sponsors for The Met Live: in HD series are The Neubauer Family Foundation, Bloomberg and the Toll Brothers. The Goddard Center is an Adventure Road Partner.