Thursday, April 5, 2007

Quick Thought about Turandot on Sirius

Thought I would share these quick comments about the cast...
(Erika Sunnegårdh replaced Andrea Gruber, because she was ill. Thank goodness, because I don't like Andrea Gruber at all.)

Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Turandot: Erika Sunnegårdh
Liù: Hei-Kyung Hong
Calaf: Richard Margison
Timur: Oren Gradus

  • Turandot- "In Questa Reggia" was unbelievable! What power! What force! (I do prefer Eva Marton and she sang it a lot, but I can have my favorites =]) Act II was electrifying! What a glorious top voice this woman has! Marvelous! I can't wait to see her live. what a spectacle... Riddle Scene was bone chilling! I'm shivering!
  • Mandarin- wobble wobble wobble. otherwise, alright =) in Act II he got off the rhythm a little and had to rush to get back in place.
  • Liu- vocally, very solid. Act I was very very good! "Signore Ascolta" had lots of feeling (i could even hear her sobbing softly at the end!) and was stable, even on top (had a nice *ring*).
  • Timur- dark and rich voice. very deep and sonorous. some wobbling. Act I was sung extremely well. i like the tone of his voice a lot.
  • Calaf- okay, not Domingo's Calaf, but what are you gonna do? pushing a little bit, but not bad... not bad at all! he doesn't show a lot of feeling through his voice, though, which is sort of disappointing. Act I was alright, except for the three "Turandot! Turandot! Turandooootttt!"... something weird happened with that, it just felt funny. Act II was alright... again, not Domingo, but still okay. From Mel Brooke's "History of the World Part I": Nice...not thrilling, but nice.
  • Ping- Act I was really good. He sounded relaxed, confident and like he was having fun, which he should in such a role!! Act II was good. his tone, i noticed, is rather gravely which is okay as long as it doesn't get out of hand.
  • Pang- Act I was very good. I love the two tenor roles, Ping and Pang. they make such a good pair! haha! Act II was even better than the first!
  • Pong- Act I was increasingly getting better. wonderfully enjoyable! Act II was just as good if not better than the first act!
  • Ping, Pang and Pong together- charming as usual. they always make me smile!! =)=) "Addio amore, Addio razza, Addio stirpe divina!!!!!" i love these guys!
  • Emperor- No wobbles, though it did sound a little unstable. He is supposed to sound extremely old, so I guess it fits.
  • Chorus- menacing and great as usual. there is a new symptom of "old lady" syndrome in the higher notes. hopefully they can fix that? however, when they screamed "SANGUE! SANGUE!" i got goose-bumps. agh, it's terrifying.
  • Children's Chorus- so cute! lovely voices, too. "La, sui monti dell'Est" was great. good work, kids!
  • Orchestra- loud and lovely. =) you can't say many bad things about this orchestra
  • Conductor- kept things together, as the conductor should. sometimes it felt rushed or too fast, but overall it was very, very nice work. he also goes a little too slow at times, there must be no happy medium! haha, bravo Maestro Luisi.
I was too tired to listen to the final act, although my favorite aria is in it! (Correction: mom made me go to bed =])

Although I'm not sure this is Puccini's absolute best work ever (there is Tosca, La Boheme, Manon Lescaut etc. etc.), it remains to be my favorite opera nonetheless. Turandot surely contains some of Puccini's most haunting music! Caution: Turandot's music may cause nightmares or recurring dreams of decapitated princes and/or cause extreme emotion including sobbing like a baby, yelling "sangue" in public places, and smiling like a fool!!!

I'm so incredibly excited to be seeing this production later this month! I'll give a more in-depth review after I see it.

Diecimila anni al nostro Imperatore!!! Gloria a te!!

1 comment:

Nathaniel said...

You have very good taste especially where Gruber is concerned, although I think you give this whole gorgeous mess of an opera too much dramatic leeway. Keep continuing in this pattern for eighty years and what do you get? That's right: The Pirate Queen on Broadway. Maybe that's what Liu was really thinking of when she offed herself.

The '61 Stokowski live recording with Corelli and Nilsson is worth a listen, as is the Mehta for the passion and the Karajan for the conducting. Have you heard the "new" ending?