Opera North is returning to Hull as part of the 2017 UK City of Culture celebrations with a full-scale concert performance of Turandot on 9 May 2017 at Hull City Hall.
An extra performance of Puccini's final work has also been announced for Sunday 14 May at Leeds Town Hall, following the overwhelming response to the release of the three original dates: Friday 28 April, Sunday 30 April and Friday 12 May.
Conducted by Music Director Aleksandar Markovic and directed by Annabel Arden, Turandot follows in the footsteps of Opera North's highly praised concert performances of Wagner's complete Ring cycle. The Orchestra of Opera North will take centre stage, with Joanna Parker providing aspects of set and costume design inspired by the opera's setting in ancient Beijing.
The scale of Puccini's musical invention in Turandot is staggering and includes one of the most famous arias of all, Nessun dorma, sung by Prince Calaf as he anticipates winning the hand of Princess Turandot. The prince is the last in a long line of hapless suitors who have tried to solve the three riddles which stand between them and marriage to the princess. Many accept the challenge; none survives the attempt. Despite this and the pleas of Liù, the slave girl who selflessly loves him, Prince Calaf is so transfixed by Turandot's beauty that he is determined to claim her as his own.
Tenor Rafael Rojas sings Prince Calaf, making a welcome return to Opera North following widespread acclaim in the title role of Andrea Chénier in 2016. Irish soprano Orla Boylan sings Turandot while South Korean soprano Sunyoung Seo makes her Opera North and UK debut as Liù.
Turandot opens at Leeds Town Hall on 28 April before touring to Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, Hull City Hall, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and Sage Gateshead.
Tickets for the Hull performance will go on sale at 10am this Friday, 16 December.
Rafael Rojas in Opera North's 2016 production of Andrea Chenier. Photo credit: Robert Workman