Turandot

 

Puccini Turandot opera to a libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni. This is a 2009 revival of the Zeffirelli production at New York Met with revival stage direction by David Kneuss. Stars Maria Guleghina (Turandot), Marina Poplavskaya (Liù), Marcello Giordani (Calaf), Samuel Ramey (Timur), Charles Anthony (Emperor Altoum), Joshua Hopkins (Ping), Tony Stevenson (Pang), Eduardo Valdes (Pong), Mark de Chiazza, Andrew Robinson, Sam Meredith (Three Masks), Keith Miller (Mandarin), Antonio Demarco (Executioner), Sasha Semin (Prince of Persia), Anne Nonnemacher  and  Mary Hughes (Handmaidens),  as well as Linda Gelinas, Alexandra Gonzalez, Annemarie Lucania, and Rachel Schuette (Four Temptresses). Andris Nelsons conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus (Chorus Master Donald Polumbo). Production and set designs by Franco Zeffirelli; costumes by Anna Anni and Dada Saligeri; lighting by Gil Wechsler; choreography by Chiang Ching; TV direction by Gary Halvorson. Sung in Italian; but, alas, no Italian subtitles.  Released 2011, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound.  Grade: A

Special note: the first discs shipped by Decca of this title had subtitles about 30 seconds out-of-sync with the picture (for several acts). These discs were recalled, and Decca immediately printed correct discs as replacements.

David Patrick Stearns in the 2011 Awards Edition of Gramophone reviewed this title in its Blu-ray version. (Some of the Gramophone reviewers apparently don't have HD displays and are stuck with DVDs.) Stearns suggests that this recording, while not the A+ title we are waiting for of Turandot, was about as good as could be done with the singers available in the world in November, 2009. So the Sterns opinion supports the "A" grade we gave this.

Here are a couple of nice clips: