March 24, 2018

From The Metropolitan Opera website:

Puccini’s final opera is an epic fairy tale set in a China of legend, loosely based on a play by 18th-century Italian dramatist Carlo Gozzi. Featuring a most unusual score with an astounding and innovative use of chorus and orchestra, it is still recognizably Puccini, bursting with instantly appealing melody. The unenviable task of completing the opera’s final scene upon Puccini’s sudden death was left to the composer Franco Alfano. Conductor Arturo Toscanini oversaw Alfano’s contribution and led the world premiere.

Puccini’s grand spectacle of legendary China stars Oksana Dyka and Martina Serafin in the role of the ice princess and Aleksandrs Antonenko and Marcelo Álvarez as the unknown prince who must thaw her heart or die. Maria Agresta, Hei-Kyung Hong, and James Morris are among the other remarkable artists featured in this cherished Franco Zeffirelli production, led by Carlo Rizzi and Marco Armiliato.

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Talking March Madness with ESPN Insider and Illini graduate John Gasaway