What Is Like Ice, But Burns Like Fire?


Answer: Turandot, Phantom Regiment’s 2012 Production, and Giacomo Puccini’s final, glorious opera. Based on an Italian story inspired by a Chinese legend, this Romantic masterwork is a treasure trove of magnificent melodies, soaring arias, and evocative musical colors.
Throughout the Regiment’s production, sweeping musical themes and rhythmic conflict are intricately woven together in much the same way Puccini presented them; an exotic tale that takes the audience on a thrill ride through iconic musical passages which flies through the full gamut of emotions. Considered one of the most technically challenging scores in the operatic repertoire, the score is itself another character in this larger-than-life tale.  Phantom Regiment displays their trademark ability to present this music in a way that pleases both opera enthusiasts and drum corps fans alike.

Though Puccini’s first interest in this subject was based on his reading of Friedrich Schiller’s adaptation of the play, his work is most nearly based on the earlier text Turandot by Carlo Gozzi. (Read more: www.regiment.org/programs.cfm)

The corps uniform incorporates an ancient Chinese coin, while the color guard costume is beautiful, dramatic and befitting of this strong independent Princess.

The story opens outside the walls of Pekin’s Forbidden City. A prince, in order to win the hand of the proud Princess Turandot, known by her subjects as the Ice Princess, must solve three riddles. Many have tried and failed, under the penalty of death. We soon meet Prince Calaf, who having been hypnotized by Turandot’s beauty, boldly takes the challenge of the riddles, knowing the potential tragic consequences.


What is born each night and dies each dawn?

What flickers red and warm like a flame, but is not fire?

What is like ice, but burns like fire?


Calaf answers all the riddles correctly and wins the hand of Turandot, but not her heart.  At least not yet. She searches for a way out of her obligation. Turandot’s inner conflict finally leads to her surrender and love triumphs, to the musical strains of Nessun Dorma, a Phantom Regiment classic and one of the most cherished melodies of all time.   


Let us walk together like this, your hand in mine…


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