Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Turandot: In questa reggia
All you need to understand Turandot is in the aria "In questa reggia".
Turandot is the daughter as the emperor. She has power and self-worth as the Daughter of the Sun (the emperor). As a child she was told the horrific story of the kidnapping and rape of her ancestress Lou-ling. Is her fear of men and fear of losing her power just unrealistic thinking? No. China is good for men, especially rich men who can afford to have several wives and multiple concubines. Choises for women is not many, not even for the daughter of an emperor.
For comic relief in this opera we have Ping, Pong and Pang. They complain that they have been reduced to helpers of the executioner. They dream of many things, from the innocent dreams of retiring to the residences in other parts of China to finally putting Turandot, the difficult woman who insists on being important just like a man, under the thumb of a man. Nowhere is the idea that if Turandot had a power in herself that no man could take from her there would have been no need for Turandot's neurotic angst.
Instead of caring for Turandot we care for Calaf who has no care for others except his own wishes. Calaf is just shallow. Where is his love for others, his father, Liu or even Turandot? Turandot has a reason for her cruel ideas, where is Calafs?
Liu is a woman/girl willing to sacrifice herself for love. In the opera Liu is what is expected of women, Turandot is portrayed as how every thing goes to hell if a woman is in charge. And then there is the last duet of Turandot and Calaf (Principessa di Morte), and the cute forced kiss/rape that makes Turandot hot with love for her Prince. Wow!!
More info (wikipedia links): Giacomo Puccini, Turandot, China, Peking, mandarin, concubinage, misogyny, Emperor of China
8xTurandot 2003-06-28, 2005-08-30, 2006-04-30, 2009-01-17, 2009-07-30, 2009-07-31, 2010-05-13, 2012-01-21
For reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com