Opera Southwest brings 'Turandot' to the NHCC

Opera Southwest brings ‘Turandot’ to the NHCC

A mysterious prince solves three riddles and melts a princess’s heart while breaking another’s.

Love triumphs, but it’s complicated.

The story: a vivid fantasy of long-ago China, where the imperious Princess Turandot poses three riddles to any prince who dares to court her, and commands the death of all who fail.

Opera Southwest will produce Giacomo Puccini’s “Turandot” at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on March 12, 15, 17 and 19.

As in “Madama Butterfly,” the score is filled with Asian touches, the percussion section in particular packed with gongs and various tuned instruments (xylophones, glockenspiels and the like). It is still, however, an Italian opera with the outrageously titled Ping, Pang and Pong, a spin on classic Commedia dell’arte characters.

“Turandot” celebrates the ability of art to transcend cultural borders. The opera is set in a fairytale vision of ancient China, where the beautiful, yet unapproachable, Princess Turandot rules with an iron fist. To those who wish to marry her, she has issued a challenge: answer her riddles or face execution.

This production of one of Puccini’s most famous operas, known for the aria “Nessun dorma,” (“Let no one sleep,”) will premiere at Opera Southwest and then be presented by partners OperaDelaware and Fargo Moorhead Opera in 2024. Renowned Chinese Director XinXin Tang is coming to the U.S. from her home in Singapore to direct all three productions.

Tang has directed operas in China, Singapore and around the globe. After graduating from the National School of Music and Drama in Hamburg, Germany, from 2011 to 2015 she was the resident director at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing, where she directed more than 20 operas. In 2011, she directed “Turandot” to celebrate the 19th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea, which was staged at the Seoul Opera House. Since then she directed a new version of “Turandot” in China in 2017, as well as “La Traviata” and many other operas. In 2022, she directed the Singapore premiere of Gioachino Rossini’s opera “L’inganno Felice.”

Tang, the daughter of the principal oboist at the Central Opera House in Beijing, was introduced to “Turandot” at the age of 8. She watched a video her father gave her while she was quarantined with chickenpox. Although she didn’t know Italian, she loved the music and drama, and watched it twice a day.

Soprano Michelle Johnson makes a role debut as Princess Turandot. She was a Grand Prize Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions where she was described by the New York Times as “a clear audience favorite,” and has been lavished with praise for her “extraordinary breath control and flawless articulation… Her voice is velvety and pliant – a dulcet dream.” Johnson has performed in opera productions across the U.S.

Home » Entertainment » Arts » Opera Southwest brings ‘Turandot’ to the NHCC

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
UNM's Museum of Southwestern Biology to display collections at ...
ABQnews Seeker
From 4-9 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, ... From 4-9 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, the public is invited to "Evolution Revealed: An Open Collections Event."
Bryan Cranston not retiring, will hit 'reset' on career ...
ABQnews Seeker
Bryan Cranston is setting the record ... Bryan Cranston is setting the record straight. On Thursday, it was reported that he is retiring from acting in 2026. The award-winning 'Breaking Bad' ...
Social Distortion postpones summer tour including Albuquerque date
ABQnews Seeker
Legendary band Social Distortion is postponing ... Legendary band Social Distortion is postponing its planned summer tour. This includes a date at Revel ABQ on Aug. 8. On Wednesday, the band ...
Fort Selden to mark 50 years as New Mexico ...
ABQnews Seeker
Fort Selden is chock-full of history. ... Fort Selden is chock-full of history. As early as 400 A.D. Native American farmers, the Mogollon, lived on the land in southern New Mexico. ...
Two summer programs return to NM Museum of Natural ...
ABQnews Seeker
why not? The New Mexico Museum ... why not? The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is returning two of its popular programs — Mineral Mondays and Relaxed Nights. ...
‘We Spread’ explores what it means to grow old
ABQnews Seeker
"We Spread" is a taut novel ... "We Spread" is a taut novel packed with mysteries, starting with the title and a front cover design ...
Annual exhibit boasts layers of pastels with 'Enchanted Colors'
ABQnews Seeker
The New Mexico Pastel Society's annual ... The New Mexico Pastel Society's annual exhibition encompasses 73 works at the Millicent Rogers Museum, augmented by an additional 40 online.
Festival to put on free shows of two of ...
ABQnews Seeker
"The Comedy of Errors" and "A ... "The Comedy of Errors" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" run from June 9 through July 8 and admission is free.
No jest, Upstart Crows to perform 'King Lear'
ABQnews Seeker
"King Lear" will be performed by ... "King Lear" will be performed by two casts; a total of 28 actors. One is entirely comprised of young Shakespearian actors; the other is ...