Friday, September 22, 2017

Turandot in San Francisco

Conductor Nicola Luisotti
Production and Design David Hockney

Turandot: Martina Serafin
Calaf: Brian Jagde
Liù: Toni Marie Palmertree
Timur: Raymond Aceto
Ping: Joo Won Kang
Pang: Julius Ahn
Pong: Joel Sorensen
A Mandarin: Brad Walker
Emperor: Altoum Robert Brubaker *

Puccini's Turandot played at the San Francisco Opera last night in the wonderful David Hockney production.  One of the reasons it's so wonderful is because it doesn't look at all Chinese.  Because the story isn't actually Chinese.  It should reasonably be regarded as a fairy tale.  I'm a sucker for the story, although I enjoyed it more before I could remember the answers to the riddles.

The chorus was particularly spectacular.  Brian Jagde seemed very intense.  With Turandot it is as much the spectacle one comes for rather than the fine details.  Let's just say it's one of the hardest operas to cast in the repertoire.

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