The 2022-23 Season marks Opera Colorado’s 40th Anniversary. Over four decades, we have been committed to connecting our Colorado community to the emotions and stories of the world through traditional and innovative opera and educational programming that is accessible to all. In May of 2023, we look forward to presenting a larger-than-life production of Puccini’s final opera, Turandot. While we approach this production with great excitement, we realize the opera has come under fire for problematic exemplification of Western projections of Asian culture.
We plan on hosting community engagement & feedback events surrounding this production and creating resources and content to expand our community’s knowledge and uplift voices within the Asian community. This page is a living resource and will be updated as we finalize plans for the production, offer community events, and create new content.
CONTENT AND RESOURCES
Opera Colorado Blog Posts
AAPI Arts in Denver
THE RIDDLE OF TURANDOT: A Conversation with Aria Umezawa
Aria Umezawa will be the featured guest at a talkback with students from Metropolitan State University on May 4. This is a private event.
THE RIDDLE OF TURANDOT: A Community Conversation
Monday, February 13 at 7:00 p.m.
The Masterpiece Theater at the Buell Public Media Center
2101 Arapahoe St.
Denver, CO 80205
Executive Director, Asian Pacific Development Center
Elllie Caulkins General & Artistic Director, Opera Colorado
Margaret Ozaki Graves
Soprano, Educator, Advocate
Managing Attorney, Primera Law Group
President Elect, Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Community and Volunteer Director, Rocky Mountain Public Media
In May, Opera Colorado will present Turandot, one of opera’s biggest blockbusters. For all Turandot’s popularity, this opera, set in a fabricated version of ancient China, has been scrutinized for problematic representations of Asian culture.
Opera Colorado addresses these issues by inviting its community to a conversation with director Aria Umezawa and special guests about Turandot, Asian representation, and what it means to present an opera like Turandot in 2023, nearly 100 years after it was first performed.
Presented in partnership with Rocky Mountain Public Media.
Statements on Opera Colorado’s production of Turandot:
Greg Carpenter, The Ellie Caulkins General & Artistic Director
Puccini’s Turandot is one of the greatest and most beloved masterpieces in the repertoire. While we celebrate this early twentieth century work, we also recognize that we must face the important and sensitive issues of our time, and engage our community in dialog and discourse.
Aria Umezawa, Director of Turandot
Working on a piece like Turandot is not a responsibility I take lightly. As a half-Japanese Canadian who is passionate about opera and wants to make positive cultural contributions through my work, I understand the conflict of Puccini’s orientalist operas. My aim for this production will be to lean into conversations around this work, to listen to the AAPI community, and find a way to lift up their voices through engaging with this piece.