A Grand Opera

Love and death. Passion and punishment. Drama and color. This is Turnadot, Puccini’s final opera. Set in China’s Imperial City, the opera tells the story of distant, cruel Princess Turnadot, who declares that any man who wishes for her hand in marriage must answer three riddles—and that any wrong answer will be met with execution. When a mysterious suitor is able to answer all three riddles, a new challenge is set.

A spectacle of light and color, Turnadot puts the “grand” back in grand opera with its lavish sets, full chorus and colorful costumes. Despite its fragmented writing—Turnadot was finished by another composer following Puccini’s death—the music certainly doesn’t take a backseat. The opera features one of the most well-known tenor arias of all time, Nessun dorma, made famous by Pavarotti.

Those wishing to partake of the spectacle can do so at Yardley Hall at 3 p.m. on August 30 where the Wichita Grand Opera will be performing Turnadot as part of Johnson County Community College’s Performing Arts Series.