Royal Theatre of La Monnaie tickets 14 June 2024 - Turandot | GoComGo.com

Turandot

Royal Theatre of La Monnaie, Brussels, Belgium
All photos (9)
Select date and time
8 PM

E-tickets: Print at home or at the box office of the event if so specified. You will find more information in your booking confirmation email.

You can only select the category, and not the exact seats.
If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Brussels, Belgium
Starts at: 20:00
Acts: 3
Sung in: Italian
Titles in: Dutch,French

E-tickets: Print at home or at the box office of the event if so specified. You will find more information in your booking confirmation email.

You can only select the category, and not the exact seats.
If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

Cast
Performers
Soprano: Ewa Vesin (Princess Turandot)
Conductor: Kazushi Ono
Choir: La Monnaie Chorus
Orchestra: La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra
Chorus: La Monnaie's Children's and Youth Chorus
Bass: Michele Pertusi (Timur)
Mezzo-Soprano: Ning Liang (The Emperor Altoum)
Tenor: Stefano La Colla (Calaf)
Soprano: Venera Gimadieva (Liù)
Creators
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Dramaturge: Carlo Gozzi
Director: Christophe Coppens
Librettist: Giuseppe Adami
Librettist: Renato Simoni
Overview

Giacomo Puccini died in Brussels in 1924, leaving the score of his last opera unfinished. A century later, conductor Kazushi Ono and director Christophe Coppens prove that the work has much more to offer than its iconic aria ‘Nessun dorma’. They read Turandot as a modern horror story set in a harsh world where love is scarce and where the logic of money, power, violence and fear rules. Could a fairy tale be any more topical?

Princess Turandot doesn’t want to get married. To avoid marrying any old suitor, she lays down a terrible rule: Anyone who wants to obtain her love must solve three riddles. Three right answers will yield her hand, but a single wrong answer will result in death by beheading. Blinded by his love for the emperor’s daughter, the mysterious prince Calaf accepts the challenge. But after he has solved the riddles correctly, the tables are turned and it is up to Turandot to uncover his secret. A game of riddles that soon proves as dangerous as love itself.

History
Premiere of this production: 25 April 1926, Teatro alla Scala, Milan

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

Synopsis

Place: Peking, China
Time: Legendary times

Act 1

In front of the imperial palace

In China, beautiful Princess Turandot will only marry a suitor who can answer three secret riddles. A Mandarin announces the law of the land (Aria – Popolo di Pechino! – "People of Peking!"). The Prince of Persia has failed to answer the three riddles, and he is to be beheaded at the next rising moon. As the crowd surges towards the gates of the palace, the imperial guards brutally repulse them, causing a blind old man to be knocked to the ground. The old man's slave-girl, Liù, cries out for help. A young man hears her cry and recognizes that the old man is his long-lost father, Timur, the deposed king of Tartary. The young Prince of Tartary is overjoyed at seeing Timur alive, but still urges Timur to not speak his name because he is afraid that the Chinese rulers, who have conquered Tartary, may kill or harm them. Timur then tells his son that, of all his servants, only Liù has remained faithful to him. When the Prince asks her why, she tells him that once, long ago in the palace, the Prince had smiled at her (Trio with chorus – The crowd, Liù, Prince of Tartary, Timur: Indietro, cani! – "Back, dogs!").

The moon rises, and the crowd's cries for blood dissolve into silence. The doomed Prince of Persia, who is on his way to be executed, is led before the crowd. The young Prince is so handsome and kind that the crowd and the Prince of Tartary decide that they want Turandot to act compassionately, and they beg Turandot to appear and spare his life (Aria – The crowd, Prince of Tartary: O giovinetto! – "O youth!"). She then appears, and with a single imperious gesture, orders the execution to continue. The Prince of Tartary, who has never seen Turandot before, falls immediately in love with her, and joyfully cries out Turandot's name three times, foreshadowing the riddles to come. Then the Prince of Persia cries out Turandot’s name one final time, mirroring the Prince of Tartary. The crowd, horrified, screams out one final time and the Prince of Persia is beheaded.

The Prince of Tartary is dazzled by Turandot's beauty. He is about to rush towards the gong and to strike it three times – the symbolic gesture of whoever wishes to attempt to solve the riddles so that he can marry Turandot – when the ministers Ping, Pang, and Pong appear. They urge him cynically to not lose his head for Turandot and to instead go back to his own country (Fermo, che fai?). Timur urges his son to desist, and Liù, who is secretly in love with the Prince, pleads with him not to attempt to solve the riddles (Signore, ascolta! – "Lord, hear!"). Liù's words touch the Prince's heart. He begs Liù to make Timur's exile more bearable by not abandoning Timur if the Prince fails to answer the riddles (Non piangere, Liù – "Do not cry, Liù"). The three ministers, Timur, and Liù then try one last time to stop the Prince (Ah! Per l'ultima volta! – "Ah! For the last time!") from attempting to answer the riddles, but he refuses to heed their advice.

He calls Turandot's name three times, and each time Liù, Timur, and the ministers reply, "Death!" and the crowd declares, "We're already digging your grave!" Rushing to the gong that hangs in front of the palace, the Prince strikes it three times, declaring himself to be a suitor. From the palace balcony, Turandot accepts his challenge, as Ping, Pang, and Pong laugh at the Prince's foolishness.

Act 2

Scene 1: A pavilion in the imperial palace. Before sunrise

Ping, Pang, and Pong lament their place as ministers, poring over palace documents and presiding over endless rituals. They prepare themselves for either a wedding or a funeral (Trio – Ping, Pang, Pong: Ola, Pang!). Ping suddenly longs for his country house in Honan, with its small lake surrounded by bamboo. Pong remembers his grove of forests near Tsiang, and Pang recalls his gardens near Kiu. The three share their fond memories of their lives away from the palace (Trio – Ping, Pang, Pong: Ho una casa nell'Honan – "I have a house in Honan"). They turn their thoughts back to how they have been accompanying young princes to their deaths. As the palace trumpet sounds, the ministers ready themselves for another spectacle as they await the entrance of their Emperor.

Scene 2: The courtyard of the palace. Sunrise

The Emperor Altoum, father of Turandot, sits on his grand throne in his palace. Weary of having to judge his isolated daughter's sport, he urges the Prince to withdraw his challenge, but the Prince refuses (Aria – Altoum, the Prince: Un giuramento atroce – "An atrocious oath"). Turandot enters and explains (In questa reggia – "In this palace") that her ancestress of millennia past, Princess Lo-u-Ling, reigned over her kingdom "in silence and joy, resisting the harsh domination of men" until she was raped and murdered by an invading foreign prince. Turandot claims that Lo-u-Ling now lives in her, and out of revenge, Turandot has sworn to never let any man wed her. She warns the Prince to withdraw but again he refuses. The Princess presents her first riddle: Straniero, ascolta! – "What is born each night and dies each dawn?" The Prince correctly replies, Speranza – "Hope." The Princess, unnerved, presents her second riddle (Guizza al pari di fiamma – "What flickers red and warm like a flame, but is not fire?") The Prince thinks for a moment before replying, Sangue – "Blood". Turandot is shaken. The crowd cheers the Prince, provoking Turandot's anger. She presents her third riddle (Gelo che ti da foco – "What is ice which gives you fire and which your fire freezes still more?"). He proclaims, "It is Turandot! Turandot!"

The crowd cheers for the triumphant Prince. Turandot throws herself at her father's feet and pleads with him not to leave her to the Prince's mercy. The Emperor insists that an oath is sacred and that it is Turandot's duty to wed the Prince (Duet – Turandot, Altoum, the Prince: Figlio del cielo). She cries out in despair, "Will you take me by force? (Mi porterai con la forza?) The Prince stops her, saying that he has a riddle for her: Tre enigmi m'hai proposto – "You do not know my name. Tell me my name before sunrise, and at dawn, I will die." Turandot accepts. The Emperor then declares that he hopes that he will be able to call the Prince his son when the sun next rises.

Act 3

Scene 1: The palace gardens. Night

In the distance, heralds call out Turandot's command: Cosi comanda Turandot – "This night, none shall sleep in Peking! The penalty for all will be death if the Prince's name is not discovered by morning". The Prince waits for dawn and anticipates his victory: Nessun dorma – "Let no one sleep!"

Ping, Pong, and Pang appear and offer the Prince women and riches if he will only give up Turandot (Tu che guardi le stelle), but he refuses. A group of soldiers then drag in Timur and Liù. They have been seen speaking to the Prince, so they must know his name. Turandot enters and orders Timur and Liù to speak. The Prince feigns ignorance, saying they know nothing. But when the guards begin to treat Timur harshly, Liù declares that she alone knows the Prince's name, but she will not reveal it. Ping demands the Prince's name, and when Liù refuses to say it, she is tortured. Turandot is clearly taken aback by Liù's resolve and asks Liù who or what gave her such a strong resolve. Liù answers, "Princess, love!" (Principessa, amore!). Turandot demands that Ping tear the Prince's name from Liù, and Ping orders Liù to be tortured even more. Liù counters Turandot (Tu che di gel sei cinta – "You who are encircled by ice"), saying that Turandot too will learn the exquisite joy of being guided by caring and compassionate love. Having spoken, Liù seizes a dagger from a soldier's belt and stabs herself. As she staggers towards the Prince and falls dead, the crowd screams for her to speak the Prince's name. Since Timur is blind, he must be told about Liù's death, and he cries out in anguish. When Timur warns that the gods will be offended by Liù's death, the crowd becomes subdued, very afraid and ashamed. The grieving Timur and the crowd follow Liù's body as it is carried away. Everybody departs, leaving the Prince and Turandot alone. He reproaches Turandot for her cruelty (Duet – The Prince, Turandot: Principessa di morte – "Princess of death"), then takes her in his arms and kisses her in spite of her resistance.

The Prince tries to persuade Turandot to love him. At first, she feels disgusted, but after he kisses her, she feels herself becoming more ardently desiring to be held and compassionately loved by him. She admits that ever since she met the Prince, she realized she both hated and loved him. She asks him to ask for nothing more and to leave, taking his mystery with him. The Prince, however, then reveals his name: "Calaf, son of Timur – Calaf, figlio di Timur", thereby placing his life in Turandot's hands. She can now destroy him if she wants (Duet – Turandot, Calaf: Del primo pianto).

Scene 2: The courtyard of the palace. Dawn

Turandot and Calaf approach the Emperor's throne. She declares that she knows the Prince's name: Diecimila anni al nostro Imperatore! – "It is ... love!" The crowd sings and acclaims the two lovers (O sole! Vita! Eternità).

Venue Info

Royal Theatre of La Monnaie - Brussels
Location   5, Place de la Monnaie

The Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (or la Monnaie) in French, or The Koninklijke Muntschouwburg (or de Munt) in Dutch, is a leading opera house in Brussels. Both of its names translate as Royal Theatre of the Coin. Today the National Opera of Belgium, a federal institution, takes the name of the theatre in which it is housed - La Monnaie or De Munt refers both to the building as well as the opera company.

History

In the last three decades la Monnaie has reclaimed its place amongst the foremost opera houses in Europe thanks to the efforts of the successive directors Gerard Mortier and Bernard Foccroulle and music directors Sylvain Cambreling and Antonio Pappano.

The current edifice is the third theatre on the site. The façade dates from 1818 with major alterations made in 1856 and 1986. The foyer and auditorium date from 1856, but almost every other element of the present building was extensively renovated in the 1980s.

The theatre of Gio-Paolo Bombarda, 1700 to 1818

The first permanent public theatre for opera performances of the court and city of Brussels was built between 1695 and 1700 by the Venetian architects Paolo and Pietro Bezzi, as part of a rebuilding plan following the bombardment of Brussels. It was built on the site of a building that had served to mint coins. The name of this site la Monnaie ("the Mint") remained attached to the theatre for the centuries to come. The construction of the theatre had been ordered by Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria, at that time Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands. The Elector had charged his "trésorier", the Italian Gio-Paolo Bombarda, with the task of financing and supervising the enterprise. The date of the first performance in 1700 remains unknown.

The first performance mentioned in the local newspaper was Jean-Baptiste Lully's, Atys, which was given on 19 November 1700. The French operatic repertoire would dominate the Brussels stage throughout the following century, although performances of Venetian operas and other non-French repertoire were performed on a regular basis. Until the middle of the 19th century, plays were performed along with opera, ballet and concerts.

By the 18th century la Monnaie was considered the second French-speaking stage after the most prominent theatres in Paris. Under the rule of Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine, who acted as a very generous patron of the arts, the theatre greatly flourished. At that time it housed an opera company, a ballet and an orchestra. The splendour of the performances diminished during the last years of the Austrian rule, due to the severe politics of the Austrian Emperor Joseph II.

After 1795, when the French revolutionary forces occupied the Belgian provinces, the theatre became a French Departmental institution.

Amongst other cuts in its expenses, the theatre had to abolish its Corps de Ballet. During this period many famous French actors and singers gave regular performances in the theatre during their tour of the provinces of the Empire. Still a consul, Napoleon on his visit to Brussels judged the old theatre too dilapidated for one of the most prestigious cities of his Empire. He ordered plans to replace the old building by a new and more monumental edifice, but nothing was done during the Napoleonic rule. Finally, the plans were carried out under the auspices of the new United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Bombarda building was demolished in 1818.

The theatre of Louis Damesme, 1818 to 1855

The old theatre was replaced by a new Neo-classical building designed by the French architect Louis Damesme. Unlike the Bombarda building, which was situated along the street and completely surrounded by other buildings, the new theatre was placed in the middle of a newly constructed square. This gave it a more monumental appearance, but it was primarily the result of safety concerns since it was more accessible to firemen, reducing the chance that fire would spread to surrounding buildings. The new auditorium was inaugurated on 25 May 1819 with the opera La Caravane du Caire by the Belgian composer André Ernest Modeste Grétry.

As the most important French theatre of the newly established United Kingdom of the Netherlands, la Monnaie had national and international significance. The theatre came under the supervision of the city of Brussels, which had the right to appoint a director charged with the management its management. In this period famous actors like François Joseph Talma and singers like Maria Malibran performed at la Monnaie. The Corps de Ballet was reintroduced and came under the supervision of the dancer and choreographer Jean-Antoine Petipa, father of the famous Marius Petipa.

La Monnaie would play a prominent role in the formation of the Kingdom of Belgium. Daniel Auber's opera La Muette de Portici was scheduled in August 1830 after it had been banned from the stage by King William I, fearing its inciting content. At a performance of this opera on the evening of 25 August 1830, a riot broke out which became the signal for the Belgian Revolution and which led to Belgian independence. The Damesme building continued to serve for more than two decades as Belgium's principal theatre and opera house until it burnt to the ground on 21 January 1855 leaving only the outside walls and portico.

The theatre of Joseph Poelaert, since 1856

After the fire of January 1855, the theatre was reconstructed after the designs of Joseph Poelaert within a period of fourteen months. The auditorium (with 1,200 seats) and the foyer were decorated in a then-popular Eclectic Style; a mixture of Neo-Baroque, Neo-Rococo and Neo-Renaissance Styles. The lavish decoration made excessive use of gilded "carton-pierre" decorations and sculptures, red velvet and brocade. The auditorium was lit by the huge crystal chandelier that today still hangs in the centre of the domed ceiling. It is made of gilded bronze and venetian crystals. The original dome painting – representing "Belgium Protecting the Arts" – was painted in the Parisian workshop of François-Joseph Nolau (Paris 1804-1883) and Auguste Alfred Rubé (Paris, 1815-1899), two famous decorators of the Parisian Opera House. In 1887 this dome painting was completely repainted by Auguste-Alfred Rubé (Paris, 1815-1899) himself and his new associate Philippe-Marie Chaperon (Paris, 1826–1907), because it was mostly tainted by the CO2 emissions from the chandelier. This dome painting stayed untouched until 1985, when it was taken down during extensive rebuilding activities and replaced by a bad copy, painted by the Belgian painter Xavier Crolls. From 1988 until 1998 the dome painting of Rubé and Chaperon was in restoration. In 1999, it was reinstated and decorates today one of the most beautiful opera houses of Europe. The sober whitewashed exterior we see today was done many decades later. Poelaert never intended to whitewash these outer walls. In 1856, the exterior did not have any whitewashing at all, which is proved by many photographs of that time.

The new Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie opened on 25 March 1856 with Fromental Halévy’s Jaguarita l'Indienne. In the middle of the 19th century the repertoire was dominated by the popular French composers such as Halévy, Daniel Auber, and Giacomo Meyerbeer, and the Italian composers, Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti, Vincenzo Bellini and Giuseppe Verdi who had considerable success in Paris.

The opera house in the 20th century

Renovations on the Poelaert building were required shortly after the opening due to faulty foundation work; the early 20th century saw an additional story added; and in the 1950s, a new stage building was added. By 1985 it was determined that complete renovation was needed. Features such as raising the roofline by 4 metres and scooping out the stage building area - in addition to creating a steel frame to strengthen the load-bearing walls and increasing backstage space - characterized this two-year project. However, the red and gold auditorium remained basically the same. The canvas of the ceiling painting was temporarily removed for restoration and only put back in 1999. It was temporarily replaced by a copy in much brighter colors that was painted directly on the stucco ceiling.

The entrance hall and the grand staircase underwent a radical makeover, although original features such as the monument by Belgian sculptor Paul Du Bois honouring manager and musical director Dupont (1910), and a number of monumental paintings (1907-1933) by Emile Fabry were preserved. The Liège architect Charles Vandenhove created a new architectural concept for the entrance in 1985-86. He asked two American artists to make a contribution: Sol LeWitt designed a fan-shaped floor in black and white marble, while Sam Francis painted a triptych mounted to the ceiling. Vandenhove also designed a new interior decoration for the Salon Royal, a reception room connected to the Royal box. For this project he collaborated with the French artist Daniel Buren.

Now seating 1,125, the renovated opera house was inaugurated on 12 November 1986 with a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

In 1998 the major part of the vacant Vanderborght Department Store building (c. 20,000 m2) and a neo-classical mansion, both situated directly behind the opera house, were acquired by la Monnaie. The edifices were renovated and adapted to house the technical and administrative facilities of la Monnaie, previously spread all over the city. The building also contains large rehearsal halls for opera, the Malibran, and orchestra, the Fiocco. They can also be adapted for presenting public performances.

La Monnaie in the 21st century

The opera house was renovated again from May 2015 to September 2017: the stage was levelled, a new fly system was put in place and two scene lifts were installed. This allowed the opera house to stage more technically-demanding productions. Although most of the renovations took place backstage, the opera house used this opportunity to replace all of its worn out seats with new velour seats.

Dadaocheng Theater

No. 21, Section 1, Dihua St, Datong District

Dadaocheng Theatre is a small theater that focuses on the performance and development of traditional Taiwanese opera. Originally, it occupied one floor of Yongle Tower; it now has expanded to two floors, with a performance hall that can hold 506 audience members.

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Brussels, Belgium
Starts at: 20:00
Acts: 3
Sung in: Italian
Titles in: Dutch,French
Top of page