NEWS & REVIEWS
REPORT : From Tokyo, ‘Turandot’ set to rock the world
The production is the first part of the large-scale, two-year, two-opera project Opera Summer Festival 2019-20 Japan — Tokyo — World. It is the opera community in Japan’s collective effort to promote culture ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Ono serves as the general producer of the festival.
“To make it relevant to the Olympics and its five rings, we started from the concept of producing opera that crosses these five continents, and we first chose an opera with a story set in Asia,” Ono said.
“Turandot,” set in ancient Beijing, tells the story of the title character who is a callous and beautiful imperial princess. She declares that she will marry the man who can solve three riddles.
While her suitors are beheaded one after another for failing the task, Calaf, a prince from a country defeated by the empire, begins his attempt at the challenge.
Ono said the tattered city and depiction of beheadings reflect the influence of World War I.
“I think this opera has elements of modernity because there are still wars in our time, too,” he said. “It also features powerful cacophony and polytonality of melodies in different keys sounding simultaneously, thereby evoking the atmosphere of the time when the flowers of modernism blossomed.”
By Eriko Fuchigami / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer