Puccini’s Turandot was everything a good show should be; the opera was (very) dramatic, poetic, and even included some necessary comic relief. Although the storyline seems a little far-fetched (the prince answers the three riddles and wins the contest, yet he gives Turandot an opportunity to get away and himself another chance of death), I think that is the charm of the opera and it contributes to the poetry. Calaf does not want to force Turandot to marry him. His goal is to melt her cold heart and take down the defensive gate she surrounded herself with. In fact, this is apparent in her wardrobe. When we are introduced to Turandot, she is wearing many layers of sparkly clothing and a tall crown. As Turandot spends more time with Calaf and begins to warm up, she loses the outside layers of her clothing and headpiece, a metaphor for losing her defensive borders.
I was also amazed by the opera’s incredible scenery. The short intermissions did not seem like enough time to set up the detailed and intricate settings that were built. I also noticed how the orchestra contributed to the storyline and subliminally let the audience know how they should be feeling. The slow, sweet music indicated a calm, touching scene, and hurried, sharp tones signified panic in the city. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the opera, and I am excited to see another!