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

NEW YORK – 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.

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“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.

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

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