Saturday, September 17, 2011

SF Opera: "Turandot"

As part of our attempt to be more adult-like, Whit and I went to see the SF Opera production of Turandot by Giacomo Puccini.

photo courtesy of SF Opera // Cory Weaver

The only other opera I've seen was The Daughter of the Regiment, which was a comedy. Puccini does not equal comedy. This is the beginning of Act I:
In a quarter swarming with people near the Forbidden City, a Mandarin reads an edict: any prince seeking to marry Princess Turandot must answer three riddles - and if he fails, he will die. Her latest suitor, the Prince of Persia, is to be executed at the rise of the moon. Bloodthirsty citizens urge the executioner on...
Cheery.

The two leads, Iréne Theorin and Marco Berti, were strong (although Berti was pretty stiff in the expression department). However, they were both totally upstaged by Leah Crocetto as Liu: she blew the audience away during her solos, and received the most energetic appreciation during the curtain call.

The most famous song from this opera is "Nessun Dorma," which has been sung by basically every tenor, including this guy. But no one does it like Pavoratti (who played his first Calef with SF Opera in 1977):





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