Turandot, opera review
Royal Opera House, London
Friday 21 February 2014
Andrei Serban’s production of Puccini’s last opera is thirty years old and in its sixteenth revival – enough to make one fear for its safety, since shows of this vintage are now an endangered species.
Last year ENO replaced the perennially durable Hytner Flute with a production so idiosyncratic that it could only be revived by the new director’s personal team; last week ENO binned Jonathan Miller’s perfect Rigoletto to make way for a misshapen version nobody will want to see again.
When Covent Garden junked the Zeffirelli Tosca after 42 years, it was for a very pale substitute.
With Andrew Sinclair as revival director for Turandot, Sally Jacobs’ magnificent designs and Kate Flatt’s Orientalist choreography emerge bandbox fresh; the show’s exoticism may be stereotyped, but only the way the music is, as brightly-coloured pageantry.
American soprano Ailyn Perez, the new Liu, ensures that the scene of the slave-girl’s self-sacrifice becomes the heart of the drama, while the British bass Matthew Rose evinces a noble, broken majesty as the deposed king Timur. Alfred Kim’s resonant Calaf and Irene Theorin’s Turandot play beautifully off each other, her tone softening and gaining luminosity as the music does, under Nicola Luisotti’s sensitive beat.
Review: A panoramic account of the hacking scandalbooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Israel-Gaza conflict: 'When Genocide is Permissible' article removed from The Times of Israel website
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
New Netflix releases: Films and TV shows coming in August 2014
The Walking Dead season 5 will see deaths of 'favourite characters', suggests Andrew Lincoln
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Coolio has sold his soul to Pornhub
50 best running songs: From Avicii and Pharrell Williams to the classic 'Eye of the Tiger'
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- < Previous
- Next >