A different tenor

Soprano Michelle Johnson as Turandot, and tenor Rodell Rosel as Calaf; photos Lance W. Ozier

Answer three riddles and take home a princess as your bride. Or be executed. Those are the stakes for any man bold enough to court Turandot, the title character of the opera that Giacomo Puccini was working on at the time of his death in 1924.

The work, finished by Franco Alfano, premiered in 1926 at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, and it made its American debut that same year at the Metropolitan Opera. It’s become justly famous for one particular aria, “Nessun Dorma,” sung by the character Calaf and brought to the world outside opera by Luciano Pavarotti at the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

Now, Opera Southwest presents the classic in a new co-production with Opera Delaware and Fargo Moorhead Opera. Singapore-based stage director Xinxin Tang, who fell in love with Turandot at age 8, will helm the production.