Opera Explained – Turandot
  
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Puccini’s swansong has a claim to being the last great popular opera. Its melodies have enchanted audiences since its posthumous premiere in 1926, two years after Puccini’s death. It involves a chilling story of love and cruelty, an intriguing cast of characters against the exotic backdrop of Imperial China, magnificent choruses and ensembles, and dazzling orchestration in an exotic score that comprises a string of remarkable arias – among which the great tenor aria ‘Nessun dorma’ is the jewel. It is more than Puccini’s last opera: it is the last word, in every sense, on Italian opera.
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