01 / 01
Architecture buro


TURANDOT with Beijing Opera Theatre [2019]

music Luigi Ceccarelli, Alessandro Cipriani, Qiu Xiaobo
direction Marco Plini
dramaturgy Wu Jiang and Wu Yuejia
assistant director Thea Dellavalle


music Luigi Ceccarelli, Alessandro Cipriani e Qiu Xiaobo

direction Marco Plini
direction for Beijing opera Xu Mengke
dramaturgy Wu Jiang e Wu Yuejia
assistant director Thea Dellavalle

costumes Jiang Dian
choreography Cao Yang
lighting design Tommaso Checcucci
video Orlando Bolognesi
hairstyling and makeup Zheng Weiling

with the actors of National Beijing Opera Theatre Company
Zhang Jiachun, Turandot – Xu Mengke, Calaf – Wu Tong, Liù – Liu Dake, Timur – Ma Lei, emperor Wang Ping – Wang Chao, Ping – Nan Zikang, Pong – Weng Pengyu, Pang

Vincenzo Core, electric guitar and electronics – Giacomo Piermatti, double bass – Meng Lingshen, jing hu – Zhang Fuqi, jing er hu – Li Lijing, yue qin
percussions: Laura Mancini, bass drum, vibraphone, rototom – Wang Xi, ban gu e da tang gu – Cao Rongping, nao bo – Chen Shumin, xiao luo – Niu Lulu, da luo

produced by  China National Peking Opera Company, Emilia Romagna Teatro, Teatro Metastasio di Prato

technical manager Robert John Resteghini, stage manager Gioacchino Gramolini, machinist Riccardo Betti, head electrician Tommaso Checcucci, head audio technician Alberto Tranchida, audio technician Filippo Cassani, video technician Orlando Bolognesi, tailor and stagehand Lucia Bramati, translators Wen Yan e Zhou Quan

collaborator to the scenes project Marco Fieni, scenes built in the laboratory of Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione, head constructor Gioacchino Gramolini, builders Riccardo Betti e Marco Fieni, scenes decorators Lucia Bramati e Francesca di Serio

Asian Premiere – 21 December 2018, Beijing (Cina), Tsinghua University, Meng Minwei Concert Hall
European Premiere – 10 January 2019, Bolzano, Teatro Stabile di Bolzano

other performances:
11-13 January 2019, Bolzano, Teatro Stabile di Bolzano
17-20 January 2019, Prato, Teatro Metastasio
23-27 January 2019, Modena, Teatro Storchi
29 January 2019, Ferrara, Teatro Comunale
1 February 2019, Casalmaggiore, Teatro Comunale
5-10 February, Roma, Teatro Argentina

It may appear like a big challenge, at first, to write new music for Turandot. This work is very far from the famous opera by Puccini. Here we are in China, the true China, not the told or dreamed about. Only one part of the story (which stems from the Persian medieval time) has some similarity with that opera. The music, the text, the acting, the storytelling, the setting are totally different. Our goal as composers in this work was that of tackling the ancient tradition of Beijing Opera, with its actors and musicians, and also with its musical tradition. The music of Chinese opera shows unexpected rhythmical variations in relationship with the movements and phrasing of the actors, and there is no relationship whatsoever with Italian opera in many senses.

Turandot music is an encounter between Chinese opera traditional melodies elaborated and sometimes reinvented by Chinese composer Qiu Xiaobo, and original music created by two Italian composers. We created a second sound and music layer, parallel but also integrated with Chinese music and acting. We also expanded electronically the Chinese acoustic timbres; our live and recorded processing of their instruments became a bridge between the Italian instruments (double bass, electric guitar and percussions) and the Chinese ones (also string instruments and percussions).  The electronics part is like a magnifying lens which leads us to listen to that instrumental music in a different way, and it plays the role of a bridge between the two musical cultures. It also expands the sound onto a multidimensional space, which evolves together with the story, and it becomes the immersive acoustic space of the storytelling.

(Alessandro Cipriani and Luigi Ceccarelli)

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