CONCERT DATE: Saturday, 4/29/2017 at 8:00 PM
VENUE: Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
This 2,750-seat theater at the core of the Centre was designed to accommodate both acoustic and amplified performances with the specific intent of attracting touring companies of Broadway shows.
Within the theatre itself, seating is distributed on three levels — orchestra, mezzanine and grand tier — and fourteen balcony boxes. The most distant seat in the upper level (Grand Tier) is only 160 feet (49 m) from the stage. Metallic-mesh triangular screens undulate across the ceiling to hide catwalks. The stage features a hydraulic lift for the 30-foot (9m) deep orchestra pit large enough for 84 musicians. The theatre is surrounded by a 2 feet (61 cm) thick concrete wall on the perimeter for acoustic isolation.
The Centre’s first resident company is the Atlanta Opera, which relocated from the cavernous Atlanta Civic Center in downtown Atlanta.The Opera’s first production in the new facility was Puccini’s Turandot.
FACTS ABOUT TURANDOT
1. Puccini sadly died before completing Turandot. It was finished by composer Franco Alfano (best known for Cyrano de Bergerac), who received strict instructions to make it seem like the missing end of the opera had been composed by Puccini. During the premiere, when the opera reached the last point composed by Puccini, the esteemed conductor Arturo Toscanini laid down his baton, turned to the audience, and said “Here, the master laid down his pen.”
2. The battle over whether to pronounce the final “t” is fierce, with Dame Eva Turner, the most renowned Turandot of the inter-war period, having insisted on pronouncing the word as “Turandò” but Puccini’s own granddaughter having maintained that the final “t” must be pronounced, claiming that the name had been made Venetian.
3. Puccini incorporated actual Chinese melodies into the score, which he found in a music box given to him as a gift by the former Italian diplomat to China.
4. The aria Nessun dorma gained pop status after Pavarotti’s 1972 recording of it was used as the theme song of BBC’s coverage of the 1990 World Cup, after which it became a sporting anthem.
5. Arguably the reigning Calàf and Princess Turandot, Luciano Pavarotti and Montserrat Caballé, each had their role debuts at this very company in 1977.