Aktenzeichen: »Far Eastern exoticism on an express train«

Aktenzeichen on »Turandot«


      On 4 July 1926, the management of Dresden Opera enjoyed yet another coup by beating other opera houses for the honour of presenting the German premiere of Giacomo Puccini’s final opera »Turandot«. At the same time, this highlighted the standing of Dresden State Opera as a top venue for both world and German premieres at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. However, time was short to stage and rehearse »Turandot«. Because of the special circumstances, many commentators expressed their doubt that the work could really be done artistic justice with such a brief period of preparation. Some even talked of »Turandot on an express train«. Yet the fears proved entirely unfounded. In fact, the impressive stage design and fantastic music-making under the baton of Fritz Busch brought this »Turandot« enthusiastic, never-ending applause. 

      Together with dramaturge Benedikt Stampfli, archivist Elisabeth Telle will not only discuss the production and its staging, but also the question of which version of the opera was actually performed in Dresden, since Puccini himself had died before completing the work.