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Calgary Opera brings life and death romance Turandot to the Jubilee Auditorium stage

By Aurora Anderson, March 21 2017 —

Opera isn’t typically something young people want to invest their time and money in for a night out on the town. The Calgary Opera hopes to change that with their latest production.

Since 1972, Calgary Opera has provided Calgary and surrounding areas with their performances. The organization will set the stage with Turandot on April 1, 5 and 7.

Turandot is one of Giacomo Puccini’s most celebrated operas after its premiere in Milan in 1926 and is one of the most produced operas in the world. Set in the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, the story is about princess Turandot, who challenges potential suitors with three riddles. If they fail, the consequence is death. One challenger, Calaf, creates a troublesome love triangle with his charm and wit.

Calgary Opera interim artistic director Taras Kulish says Calgary is the perfect environment for opera.

“Opera is a unique and exciting art form that combines the disciplines of music, drama, literature, dance, visual and technical arts like no other,” Kulish says. “Opera is powerful and emotional and deals with timeless stories and the eternal struggles and joys of human nature. It allows you to escape, and in these times in Calgary, an escape might be exactly what people need from the pressures of everyday life.”

With a large-scale production like this one, Kulish says opera “costs more than war” to produce, as there are a cast, soloists, choirs, orchestra, sets and vocalists to consider.

One of the performance’s feature songs, “Nessun Dorma,” is a classically challenging vocal piece often used by contestants on shows like American Idol.

Kulish, who is also currently completing his Master of Business Administration at the University of Calgary, encourages students to come see the show.

“Turandot is a great production to introduce students to opera for the first time. It is also an amazing performance for those who have heard or been to the opera before, as it features epic music that most everyone has heard at one time or another in their lives,” he says.

All showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Tickets are $20 with a valid student ID.

For more information visit calgaryopera.com

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