Metropolitan Opera presents semi-staged `Turandot’ after stage malfunction

In this photo provided by the Metropolitan Opera, the cast performs during Act 1 of Puccini's “Turandot” on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The Met was forced to stage a semi-staged performance of the show after a stage elevator jammed. (Karen Almond/Metropolitan Opera via AP)

In this photo provided by the Metropolitan Opera, the cast performs during Act 1 of Puccini’s “Turandot” on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The Met was forced to stage a semi-staged performance of the show after a stage elevator jammed. (Karen Almond/Metropolitan Opera via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Metropolitan Opera was forced to stage a semi-staged performance of Puccini’s “Turandot” on Wednesday night after a stage elevator jammed.

Met general manager Peter Gelb made an announcement from the stage before the show.

“I’m sorry to say that this is not going to be a normal night at the opera — not that when it comes to the Met, normal and opera are two words that are typically used in the same sentence,” Gelb said.

The Met usually has sets for four different operas in the house at any given time, and Gelb said the malfunction occurred as sets were moved following a daytime rehearsal of Puccini’s “La Rondine (The Swallow.)”

“Our brilliant cast, orchestra and chorus are ready to perform for you in what will be an historic first — a semi-staged presentation of `Turandot’ at the Met,” Gelb said.

The performance took place with the cast and chorus on a portion of a set used for the apartments of the three ministers of state: Ping, Pang and Pong.

Ticket holders were given the option of refunds. Those who remained heard a rare encore of Calaf’s third-act aria “Nessun dorma (None shall sleep)” by South Korean tenor SeokJong Baek. In recent decades, encores were allowed for Luciano Pavarotti, Juan Diego Florez and Javier Camarena.

Franco Zeffirelli’s staging premiered in 1987 and is among the most lavish sets in Met history, recreating an imperial throne room with 199 people on stage.

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