Sat 13. Apr 19:00 The Grand Building of Vanemuine Theatre
Sat 20. Apr 19:00 The Grand Building of Vanemuine Theatre
Sun 05. May 16:00 The Grand Building of Vanemuine Theatre
Fri 24. May 19:00 The Grand Building of Vanemuine Theatre


Giacomo Puccini’s opera in three acts

In the court of the beautiful and distant Princess Turandot, all suitors who fail to solve the three riddles posed by the princess are killed mercilessly. Then, the mysterious Prince Calaf arrives, knowing the right answer…

Turandot, Giacomo Puccini’s final opera, can be described as a Chinoiserie in Three Acts – the interpretation and imitation of Chinese aesthetics, literature, and music by an Italian composer who never travelled to the Far East. In the mid-18th century, Western European culture was pervaded by the phenomenon of Orientalism – an aesthetic longing for another way of being.

The texture of Turandot’s score has a richness of instrumental and harmonic colour. The ever-changing layers of Puccini’s music reveal each of the characters in their various ambiguities and discords, as well as the human need to love and to be loved. Giorgio Madia strives to offer an equally dramatic staging for this grandiose fairytale and Puccini’s powerful music, while also paying homage to the work’s historical context.

Scenically, Turandot is one of the most challenging Italian operas to produce effectively. Mass scenes with choir and ballet fill the stage, at the same time there is a need to convey the story and emphasize the musical composition. Puccini’s Turandot is rich in the music, in the drama, in the aesthetic – this Italian composer knew how to conceive his work for the operatic stage to provide the audience with a unique experience. I will wholly embrace this fairytale to unfold the very special world and poetry of this beautiful opera.

– Giorgio Madia, director and choreographer

Premiere on April 13th 2024 at the Vanemuine Theatre Grand Building

Language: Italian
Surtitles: Estonian, English

Composers Giacomo Puccini and Franco Alfano
Librettists Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni
Musical Director and conductor Risto Joost
Conductors Endel Nõgene, Martin Sildos
Director, choreographer and lighting designer Giorgio Madia (Italy)
Set and Costume Designer Maarja Meeru
Director’s assistant, Movement repetitor for chorus and soloists Janek Savolainen
Repetitors, concertmasters Piia Paemurru, Ele Sonn
Vocal consultant Toomas Kaldaru
Head chorusmaster Aleksandr Bražnik
Chorusmaster Kristi Jagodin
Chorus concertmaster Katrin Nuume
Dancers’ Repetitor Matthew James Jordan
Repetitor for students of the Vanemuine Dance and Ballet School Rita Dolgihh
Lighting Designer’s Assistant Kaspar Aus


Cast Aile Asszonyi guest or Liene Kinča Latvia, Kristian Benedikt Lithuania or David Goldberg Israel, Tamara Kalinkina Ukrainian NO or Kadri Kõrvek NO Estonia, Märt Jakobson guest or Pavlo Balakin guest, Simo Breede or Taavi Tampuu guest, Roland Liiv Finnish NO or Mart Madiste NO Estonia, Rasmus Kull or Hisatoshi Nezu, Atlan Karp guest or Kristjan Häggblom, Hisatoshi Nezu or Oliver Timmusk, Oliver Kuusik guest or Juhan Tralla guest, Karmen Puis, Grete Oolberg, Helen Hansberg

Vanemuine symphony orchestra, Vanemuine opera choir (expanded composition),
Vanemuine ballet company, students of the Vanemuine Dance and Ballet School,
Tartu Boys’ Choir, the students of Jakobi Mäe Theatre Laboratory