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Opera company revising 'Turandot' over Asian depictions

Posted September 19

— A Philadelphia opera company is agreeing to make changes in its marketing and production of Puccini's "Turandot" because of complaints it perpetuates stereotypes about Asians.

A governor's commission on Asian Pacific American affairs said Monday that Opera Philadelphia is modifying or removing narrow drooping Fu Manchu mustaches on several characters.

The commission says the opera also is reviewing other makeup designs and has removed promotions featuring Caucasian actors in makeup meant to make them look Asian. A critique of the opera's depiction of Asians will be included in the program.

Opera Philadephia spokesman Frank Luzzi says commission members were invited to a rehearsal so a "meaningful dialogue" can continue.

"Turandot" was written in 1924 and is set in mythical ancient China.

Opening night is Friday, with Christine Goerke in the title role.

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