Coe Thursday Forum to feature behind the scenes look at Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre production of "Turandot"

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or

2018-01-04 08:34:36 - General

In a special Thursday Forum presentation, artistic designers will share their behind-the-scenes preparation for the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre production of Puccini's grand final opera "Turandot." The one-time lecture will be held on Thursday, Jan. 18, beginning at 9:15 a.m.

Thursday Forum lectures are held in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall on the Coe campus. Each session begins with registration and refreshments from 8:45-9:15 a.m., followed by the class until 11:30 a.m.

In the story, the cold-hearted Princess Turandot has many suitors, but they must solve three riddles correctly to win her hand, and failure leads to death. Finally, a handsome prince solves the questions, but Turandot is still reluctant to marry him. The prince himself gives a challenge to Turandot - if she cannot learn his name by morning, they must be married, but if she discovers it, he will face his mortal end.

The making of this opera involves a myriad of elements that allow the singers and the conductor to tell this great love story. Director William Ferrara provides the artistic vision for the designers - a focus on the dark intensity of the Princess Turandot, and elements of fantasy as associated with Chinese imagery.

Several months in advance the designers, including those in charge of costumes, make-up, wigs, scenic design and creation, lighting, projections and properties, begin building set pieces, searching for props and furniture, planning and sewing costumes, sketching looks for make-up and hair, creating projections and choosing lighting equipment.  All of this artistic work is done with the goal of giving the audience a complete and coherent experience while honoring the physical constraints of the theater.

Learn more at this Thursday Forum about the designers' artistic interpretations, the challenges of working with a large cast of approximately 100 people, the hard-to-research mythical setting, time and budget restraints, and performer needs.

Performances of "Turandot" will be held at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids on Jan. 19 on 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. Details of the production are available and tickets can be purchased at

The Coe College Thursday Forum Series

Coe College Thursday Forum courses are open to all adults. Admission to this one-time lecture is $12.  Payment can be made in person on Thursday morning by cash or personal check. Credit card payments can be processed online only. For more information about paying by credit card or directly from your checking account, or to order gift certificates, call (319) 399-8623.

For the remainder of the 2017-18 academic year, the Thursday Forum schedule includes:

  • "A New Arsenal: American Art during World War I" - Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22
  • "Two Scenically Beautiful Hikes in the English Countryside" - March 1
  • "Songs of Protest and Resistance" - March 8, 15, 22, 29
  • "Saints, Sinners and Secularists: Religion and Politics on the World Stage" - April 5, 12, 19, 26