The quest for young audiences: Gustavo Dudamel mesmerises with Bob Wilson’s “Turandot”

The new Paris Opera and its Music Director, Gustavo Dudamel, are on a mission. Their aim – to bring a new, younger audience to opera.

With that goal in mind, the Paris Opera is promoting a special programme targeting younger people.

The Avant Premieres (pre-premieres) are for people under 28 years old.

The idea is to foster a new generation of opera-goers by making tickets more affordable and creating an unforgettable evening exclusively for younger people.

The iconic venue is making up to 25,000 seats available for the programme each season.

One of the works chosen by Dudamel as a vehicle for his mission was Puccini’s “Turandot” and Musica attended the performance.

Directed by Robert Wilson, the Italian composer’s final masterpiece relates the saga of a cruel Chinese princess who orders the execution of any would-be suitor who fails to solve her riddles.

With its sense of wickedness and twisted plot, it sounds like it would appeal to a young audience.

“It’s very important to open spaces for them, for them to feel identified with what they see with what they listen, as part of their life,” explained Gustavo Dudamel.

And so far the work and the Avant Premieres are going down well with the young audiences.

“I’ve always said to myself that this is something that’s not accessible to me because it’s expensive and I’m still young,” said 15-year-old student Eugene Dumont-Sicaud.

“Really, I felt the moments where there was anger, sadness, anguish but really, I loved it to bits,” added 17-yer-old student Rokhaya Diouf.

For Gustavo Dudamel communication and education through music are fundamental goals, and it seems he’s gone a large way to achieving them with this latest initiative.

“It’s impressive, honestly it’s impressive. I didn’t think it was going to be this lively. I actually thought it was going to be much quieter. Actually, it’s full of noise and energy, and all the lighting, that’s fascinating. I loved it,” confirmed Eugene Dumont-Sicaud.

“Turandot” is showing at the Opera Bastille in Paris until December 30.

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