Barcelona, September 2019
On 7 October 1999, the Gran Teatre del Liceu reopened after the fateful fire during the production of Turandot directed by Núria Espert. Exactly twenty years later, the Theatre is inaugurating the season with this unfinished opera by Puccini. It’s Franc Aleu’s high-tech, futuristic and poetic production with musical direction by Josep Pons. A world premiere that will join from 7 to 25 October some of the best voices of our time, led by Iréne Theorin, Lise Lindstrom, Jorge de León, Gregory Kunde, Ermonela Jaho and Anita Hartig among many others.
Franc Aleu’s genius inspires this spectacular ‘high-tech’ proposal and fills it with visual metaphors. State-of-the-art technologies are used to flood the stage with colours, textures and video creations: “cobots” (Universal Robots’ collaborative robots), 3D technology, avant-garde audio-visual and more.
A great pyramid presides over the stage space portraying the emperor’s throne and Turandot’s home. The impressive rotating structure with six blocks of stairs and crowned by two robotic arms serves to create an allegory of power and contemporary society in its most lurid obsessions: interference in others’ private lives, the spectacle of lynching and fascination for the mechanisms of social control... “A world created to catch us like flies and create an irresistible addiction,” says Aleu.
The three acts share the same set design, but it changes in each scene, “like someone who changes the screen in a video game,” states Aleu. This virtual world was made possible thanks to a dream team made up of Susana Gómez, co-stage director, Carles Berga’s staging and Chu Uroz’s wardrobe full of technological details such as Wi-Fi controlled led lights and the complex lighting system by Marco Filibeck.
The last opera that Puccini composed and which, in fact, he left unfinished, will be one of the challenges of the season for the Symphony Orchestra and the Liceu Chorus. Both have been enlarged to 95 members each for this occasion. Josep Pons will take the helm for this opera (using the ending Franco Alfano composed) and describes it as “delicate, rich and beautiful” and full of great musical moments such as the one that features Turandot in the second act with her most demanding and powerful aria “In questa reggia”, a true roller coaster of hard to sustain sharps or Liú’s final lament before taking her life in the third act with “Tu che di gel sei cinta”. But the climax is undoubtedly what is probably the most famous aria in the world, the “Nessun dorma” by Calaf in the third act.
With the intention of making the opera known as extensively as possible and taking it out of the Theatre’s four walls, the Liceu will offer a Turandot experience to visitors of L'illa Diagonal by using virtual reality glasses. Franc Aleu came up with the idea so the public could get into the opera. This immersive experience allows one to step virtually onto the stage while listening to the famous “Nessun Dorma”.
Liceu under 35
The Gran Teatre del Liceu has sold out the more than 1,800 tickets for the third edition of ‘Liceu under 35’, the project aimed exclusively at young people under 35. On 5 October, they’ll attend the premiere of Turandot by Giacomo Puccini at a price of 15 euros. It will be a comprehensive musical experience. After the performance, a post-opera party will be held that includes a DJ session and an area with food stalls. This initiative is one more step in the new pricing policy of the Liceu to attract a younger public. It enables those under 35 to attend any of the season’s shows for only 30 euros.
This season’s ads
This year the director, screenwriter and playwright Marc Crehuet is in charge of creating this season’s spots. Today, the first of a series of 4 ads will be released that will be published as the release date of each performance draws near. Follow this link to view the spot for Turandot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7MdgsRrBBM&feature=youtu.be.
In collaboration with: