Sunday, March 20, 2016

Turandot, Musical

Location: D-cube, 7th floor, Shindorim Subway Station . Turandot is a musical which appeared between February 17, until March 13th, at the D-cube Theater, in Shindorim.

"Turandot" Musical.

This musical has its roots in a Mongolian and Persian fable, that tells of a love between a prince, the Suitor and his pursuit of a princess' affections. The princess' personality throughout the musical,until the end embrace, is full of pride and contempt for her Suitor, the prince.

 The princess spurned the prince's advances continually, and constantly ridicules him until the final curtain, when finally they embrace, to the rapturous applause of the packed audience.

This follows revelations of her mother 's tragic death when it is revealed that she had died from a suicide after being victimized by a man; these revelations come to light through Turandot's dream, which show why she had become so contemptuous and proud towards men; Her mother's suffering and death had caused Turandot to be embittered towards every male except her beloved father, the King, and this explained her rejection of the prince's advances.

Before the final embrace, the prince is allowed to win her hand only if he can answer a series of three riddles, of which if he fails, he faces death. Turandot resists to participate in such a vile contest for her hand in marriage, for she cannot bare to stoop so low as to allow him to win her favour.

The history of this Musical

Turandot is a Persian word and the name means "the daughter of Turan"; Turan is a region of Central Asia, formerly part of the Persian Empire. In 1710, while writing the first biography of Genghis Khan, the French scholar François Pétis de La Croix published a book of tales and fables combining various Asian literary themes.

One of his longest and best stories derived from the history of Mongol princess, Khutulun. In his adaptation, however, she bore the title Turandot, meaning "Turkish Daughter," the daughter of Kaidu. Instead of challenging her suitors in wrestling, Pétis de La Croix had her confront them with three riddles. In his more dramatic version, instead of wagering mere horses, the suitor had to forfeit his life if he failed to answer correctly.

Fifty years later, the popular Italian playwright Carlo Gozzi made her story into a drama of a "tigerish woman" of "unrelenting pride." In a combined effort by two of the greatest literary talents of the era, Friedrich von Schiller translated the play into German as Turandot, Prinzess in China, and Goethe directed it on the stage in Weimar in 1802.

This musical in Shindorim was rich in production and melody and, although I am not a fan of opera,  this was half way between an opera and a musical,  with many of the dialogue sung to melodies.  It is visually and musically rich.

 As a person from multi-culture family, the only criticism I have is that I wish that this production as well would serve the foreign community much better if they took a leaf out of Sejong Arts Center, uptown Seoul, and displayed subtitles by the side of the stage to read what was going on. Otherwise, your enjoyment would be stifled due to not understanding the foreign language. This would have made the experience much more pleasant and brought it into the digital age.

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