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Puccini: Turandot DVD (The Royal Opera) 2013

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Andrei Serban’s spectacular and thrilling 1984 production of Puccini’s final and grandest opera has long been a classic at the Royal Opera House. First filmed for BBC TV in the 80s, this new recording – of its 15th revival – is in stunning HD and makes this famous production available for the first time on DVD and Blu-ray. The release will rightfully take its place alongside the outstanding Royal Opera Puccini DVDs of La Bohème, Tosca (on EMI) and Il Trittico. American Lise Lindstrom is one of the very few contemporary Turandots who can genuinely sing this ‘killer’ role, and is supported by a touching Liù from Japanese soprano Eri Nakamura and an unashamedly Italianite Calaf from Marco Berti. The young Hungarian conductor Henrik Nánási directs the large orchestra and all-important chorus.

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Music: Giacomo Puccini
Princess Turandot: Lise Lindstrom 
The Unknown Prince (Calaf): Marco Berti 
Liù: Eri Nakamura
Timur: Raymond Aceto  
Ping: Dionysios Sourbis 
Pang: David Butt Philip 
Pong: Douglas Jones 
Emperor Altoum: Alasdair Elliott 
Mandarin: Michel de Souza

Royal Opera Chorus 
Chorus Director: Renato Balsadonna
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House 
Concert Master: Vasko Vassilev
Conductor: Henrik Nánási 
Director: Andrei Serban 
Revival Director: Andrew Sinclair
Designs: Sally Jacobs
Lighting design: F.Mitchell Dana
Choreography: Kate Flatt
Choreologist:Tatiana Novaes Coelho
Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, September 2013 

Plus: Turandot - An Introduction, Behind the Masks and a cast gallery.

Picture: 16:9
Sound: 2.0 LPCM Stereo/ DTS 5.1 (5.0)
Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT/KO
Region code: NTSC 0
Running Time: 125+12 mins
Recorded: 2013  

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
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Peter Henson
Turandot: A curates egg.

I did not like the production at all, but the singing and a lot of the acting was superb. Turandot was far more human than normally played so that you could see the frightened woman behind the imperious princess, and that she was terrified of men. At the same time Calaf briefly caught her eye the very first time they were on stage together, which indicated that there was an attraction from the beginning.. Lieu was very moving and received a much deserved ovation from the audience, while Calaf was the weakest of the three, not because it was a bad performance but because it was ordinary in a performance where the other two major principals were exceptional. Ping, Pang and Pong were more interesting than usual with well developed personalities and their scene at the beginning of Act 2 was touching. Placing the chorus in a theatre at the back of the stage annoyed me because it cut them out of the action. The Persion Prince as a child made no sense. He didn't look old enough to have ravaged Turandot if he had answered the three riddles, and I think you feel sympathetic to all of Turandot's victims, and not any more so because he is a child. I hate masked singers or actors on stage because it makes it very difficult for them to portray any emotional sense, and I was glad that Turandot removed hers in key scenes because it made her more real as a person. At the same time the staging and performances on the whole seemed be trying to make the characters remote from the audience. I thought the costumes were okay without any attempt to indicate the social class differences of the cast, and didn't convey any of the magnificence normally present in this opera.
Overall like the curates egg, I thought it was good in parts, and I wondered whether the characterisations that I admired were a standard part of the production or more likely given the whole staging, attributes of some of the individual singers in this particular revival of the production.

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
100%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
P
Peter Henson
Turandot: A curates egg.

I did not like the production at all, but the singing and a lot of the acting was superb. Turandot was far more human than normally played so that you could see the frightened woman behind the imperious princess, and that she was terrified of men. At the same time Calaf briefly caught her eye the very first time they were on stage together, which indicated that there was an attraction from the beginning.. Lieu was very moving and received a much deserved ovation from the audience, while Calaf was the weakest of the three, not because it was a bad performance but because it was ordinary in a performance where the other two major principals were exceptional. Ping, Pang and Pong were more interesting than usual with well developed personalities and their scene at the beginning of Act 2 was touching. Placing the chorus in a theatre at the back of the stage annoyed me because it cut them out of the action. The Persion Prince as a child made no sense. He didn't look old enough to have ravaged Turandot if he had answered the three riddles, and I think you feel sympathetic to all of Turandot's victims, and not any more so because he is a child. I hate masked singers or actors on stage because it makes it very difficult for them to portray any emotional sense, and I was glad that Turandot removed hers in key scenes because it made her more real as a person. At the same time the staging and performances on the whole seemed be trying to make the characters remote from the audience. I thought the costumes were okay without any attempt to indicate the social class differences of the cast, and didn't convey any of the magnificence normally present in this opera.
Overall like the curates egg, I thought it was good in parts, and I wondered whether the characterisations that I admired were a standard part of the production or more likely given the whole staging, attributes of some of the individual singers in this particular revival of the production.