Lisson Gallery

Ai Weiwei's staging of Puccini's Turandot opens in Rome

22 March 2022

Ai Weiwei’s operatic debut as artistic director of Turandot opens tonight at the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, after two years of delay. Ai's production of Giacomo Puccini's 1924 original contains contemporary reflections on the recent protests in Hong Kong and the coronavirus pandemic, as well as costumes and displays referencing his own work. The opera is also presided over by a Ukrainian conductor, Oksana Lyniv, the first woman to helm an Italian orchestra or conduct at the prestigious Bayreuth festival, as well as being the founder of Youth Symphony Orchestra Ukraine.

Ai is biographically connected to this particular work having performed as an extra at the production of Turandot by Franco Zeffirelli and James Levine at the Metropolitan Opera in 1987. He and his brother, the poet and writer Ai Dan, performed as executioner‘s assistants in Act I. Ai said: "Opera is an incredibly rich art form that stimulates the best qualities of human ingenuity, commitment, craftsmanship, excellence."

To hear the artist talk more on operatic influences in his work, click through to our Studio page here.

Turdanot runs at Teatro dell'Opera until 31 March. Find further information and purchase tickets here.

Ai Weiwei's staging of Puccini's Turandot opens in Rome
Click here for more Events
We use cookies on our website to improve your experience. You can find out why by reading our privacy policy. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies Privacy Policy