What is like ice, but burns like fire?

Turandot—a cold-hearted but exquisitely beautiful princess who challenges her suitors to a deadly game of wits. Only Calaf, an exiled prince, is hot-blooded enough to crack her icy veneer.

Music by Giacomo Puccini | Libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni

Sung in Italian with English supertitles


Pre-Opera Talks

Free to Ticketholders

For every performance, join us in the Orchestra section 55 minutes prior to curtain. 

The Expert: Robert Hartwell

Learn about the opera’s music, characters, composer and historical background.


Can’t make the Pre-Opera Talk? You can also watch a video.


It was [Nina] Stemme who brought a fearless musical and theatrical vitality to the proceedings.

Opera Wire

Best of all was [tenor Brian Jagde’s] 'Nessun Dorma' in Act 3, a grand glorious rendition of sound…and eloquence.

San Francisco Chronicle

[Leah] Crocetto sparked the stage with her sonorous soprano…

Opera Wire

The production and design by David Hockney is gorgeous in its brilliant reds and blues…glamorous…

Opera Wire

Bass Solomon Howard in a robust and weighty Company debut as Timur.

San Francisco Chronicle

Nina Stemme, renowned Swedish soprano, sings with authority.

Opera Wire

The cast-of-thousands-like appearance and sound of Ian Robertson’s Chorus was resplendent, and Music Director Nicola Luisotti guided the Orchestra through an agile, nuanced reading of Puccini’s rich score.

San Francisco Examiner

Martina Serafin made an impressive entrance in Act 2 with her showpiece aria “In questa reggia,” as she declared her resolve to honor a wronged ancestor with her plush, assured voice.

San Francisco Examiner

In the famous showpiece “Nessun dorma,” Brian Jagde combined sinew and tonal clarity in an irresistible alloy.

San Francisco Chronicle

As Liù, Adler Fellow Toni Marie Palmertree, delivered a performance of wondrous poignancy and heroism.

San Francisco Chronicle

Martina Serafin’s performance was stately and theatrically commanding.

San Francisco Chronicle

Brian Jagde sounded radiant and he hit all his high notes with aplomb.

San Francisco Examiner

Read More


To win the hand of the ruthless Princess Turandot, an exiled prince must answer three riddles correctly.

Read Complete Synopsis ›

Turnadot Program Articles


Read General Director Matthew Shilvock's postlude about Turandot.

The "Turandot" Puzzle

Is Puccini’s fairy-tale opera with its anachronistic notions of "the Orient" still relevant today?

Designing "Turandot"

British artist David Hockney who celebrated his 80th birthday this year recalls the influences behind his iconic 1993 production.

Cast & Creative

Turandot Martina Serafin 1
Turandot Nina Stemme 2
Calaf Brian Jagde
Liù Toni Marie Palmertree 1
Liù Leah Crocetto 2
Timur Raymond Aceto 1
Timur Soloman Howard *2
Ping Joo Won Kang
Pang Julius Ahn
Pong Joel Sorensen
A Mandarin Brad Walker
Emperor Altoum Robert Brubaker *


September 8, 12, 15, 21, 24, 30;

November 18, 25, 28; December 3, 6, 9, 2017

Conductor Nicola Luisotti 1
Conductor Christopher Franklin *2
Production and Design David Hockney
Director Garnett Bruce
Costume Designer Ian Falconer
Original Lighting Designer Thomas J. Munn
Lighting Designer Gary Marder
Chorus Director Ian Robertson
Choreographer Lawrence Pech
Fight Director Dave Maier

* San Francisco Opera debut

1  Sept. 8, 12, 15, 21, 24, 30

2  Nov. 18, 25, 28; Dec. 3, 6, 9


, 3 0

A co-production with Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Previous performances of Turandot can be found in our Archive.




November 4–22

Girls of the Golden West

Girls of the Golden West

November 21–December 10

Made Possible By

Opening Weekend Grand Sponsor Diane B. Wilsey. Additional support provided by: John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn; Bernard and Barbro Osher; The Burgess and Elizabeth Jamieson Fund; San Francisco Opera Guild; United Airlines; Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem, through the Conductors Fund and the Great Interpreters of Italian Opera Fund; and Joan and David Traitel through the Great Singers Fund.

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Photo (top): San Francisco Opera production of Turandot/Cory Weaver.