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Turandot was Giacomo Puccini's last opera, set to a libretto in Italian by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, and was left incomplete when the composer died. The opera was completed by another Italian composer, Franco Alfano.
The opera received its first two performances at La Scala Milan: on 25 April 1926, only Puccini's music was performed, conducted by Arturo Toscanini. The following evening, 26 April 1926, the complete opera was performed, with Alfano's additions, led (probably) by Toscanini or by the Argentinian conductor and composer Ettore Panizza.
Puccini's version of the story is set in China, and up to eight of the opera's themes and tunes appear to be settings of traditional Chinese melodies. The opera quickly became popular in the west. It was banned in China until the late 1990s because the government there felt that it portrayed Chinese people unfavourably.
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Ensemble. Two Performances of 'Turandot' in Rome - Giuseppe Pennisi attended one and saw the other on TV
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Profile. Magical Transformation - Ron Bierman talks to the American dramatic soprano Lise Lindstrom during rehearsals for Puccini's 'Turandot' at San Diego Opera
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Ensemble. Good Sense - Turandot in Rome as written by Puccini, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
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DVD Spotlight. Terrifying Intensity - Puccini's 'Turandot', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... brimful of imagination ...'
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