Puccini’s last opera “Turandot” stands out from the rest of his works. In the fairytale based upon Gozzi’s motif, the composer blends exoticism with psychology in a way that can not be imitated when telling the story of the men-hating Chinese princess who eventually fi nds love. In his music, Puccini also succeeds in merging foreign fl air with Italian melodramma while still staying tuned to his own unique musical language.
In his production for the Salzburger Festspiele, David Pountney tries to give an account of the dominant feeling in Puccini’s time: the fear of being alienated by mechanisation and totalitarianism. Both Turandot’s salvation and the happiness in the closing scene are also refl ected in the release of the other characters from the system in which they had to live. This gives rise to a new hope of a humane society.
The opera is staged using Luciano Berio’s completion of Act III. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is masterly conducted by Valery Gergiev.