Saturday, November 13, 2010

PUCCINI : TURANDOT

Radio New Zealand Concert network 
 Sunday 21st of August 2016 at 6.04 pm
Sunday 28th of February 2016 at 6.04 - 9.35 pm
Sunday 14th of November 2010 at 3.04 - 5.15  pm 
Sunday 13th of May 2007 at 3pm
PRELUDE
SYNOPSIS
LIBRETTO (Italian/Spanish)

LIBRETTO (English)
2016PUCCINI: Turandot, an opera in three acts
Turandot...................... Tiziana Caruso
Calàf............................ Thiago Arancam
Liù............................... Nadja Steffanoff
Timur........................... Rúni Brattaberg
Ping.............................. Andrew Moran
Pang............................. Robert McFarlane
Pong............................. Richard Greager
Emperor Altoum.......... Christopher Lincoln Bogg
Mandarin..................... Warwick Fyfe
Freemasons NZ Opera Chorus, Auckland,
Viva Voce, Children's Chorus,
Auckland Philharmonia/Eckehard Stier
 (recorded in Auckland Town Hall by RNZ)
2016
PUCCINI: Turandot, an opera in three acts
Turandot, the  Chinese princess of ice, melts in the ardour of the unknown prince Calàf
Turandot...................... Nina Stemme
Liu............................... Anita Hartig
Timur........................... Alexander Tsymbalyuk
Calàf............................ Marco Berti
Emperor Altoum.......... Ronald Naldi
Ping.............................. Dwayne Croft
Pang............................. Tony Stevenson
Pong............................. Eduardo Valdes
Mandarin..................... David Crawford
Prince of Persia............ Sasha Semin
Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orch/Paolo Carignani
2010

In Memoriam: Dame Joan Sutherland (1926-2010)
PUCCINI: Turandot, an opera in three acts
Turandot....................... Joan Sutherland
Calaf............................. Luciano Pavarotti
Liù................................ Montserrat Caballé
Timur............................ Nicolai Ghiaurov
Emperor........................ Peter Pears
Ping.............................. Tom Krause
Pang/Prince of Persia..... Pier Francesco Poli
Pong............................. Piero de Palma
Mandarin...................... Sabin Markov
John Alldis Choir, London Phil/Zubin Mehta (Decca 414 274)
2010
This occasion is to mark the passing of "our Joan".  Surprisingly a heavy singing role has been chosen to show off her voice; all drama and declamation, not coloratura and hundreds of little notes all in a row; but she melts from an ice queen into a loving woman beautifully. This is the record (1972) I have always owned, in a big box. A splendid cast over which Sutherland reigns supreme in splendour. Strange to say, unlike all the other of her box sets in my possession, Joan is not pictured on the cover, in costume, nor even in the book inside; instead there is a guard dog baring its fangs.  On my other box, Birgitt Nilsson is on display with long fingernails and bejeweled headdress

Nessun dorma, "None shall sleep", Prince Calaf declares, and you can hear Simon O'Neill sing it on his website (see the sidebar). Here is my translation of the words:

"No one shall sleep. You, Princess, in your cold room are also watching the stars, which are trembling with love and hope! But my secret is locked inside me, no one shall know my name! No, I shall say it on your lips, when the light shines forth in splendour! And my kiss will break the silence which makes you mine. Begone, night! Set, you stars! At dawn I will win!"

Verdi's Aida was the opera that made young Puccini think he would like to compose some himself. This was his last of twelve, and his attempt to compose a grand-scale opera equal to Aida, but without elephants messing up the floor.

Puccini died before finishing Turandot, and Alfano completed it, using the tune of Nessun dorma for the grand finale. Toscanini was its first conductor (on the opening night he stopped at the point where the composer had stopped writing, and died).

There is sadism, torture, suicide, and horror to go through before we reach the happy ending. However, I don't think the Tartar prince and the icy Chinese princess could really settle down to a blissful life of peaceful domesticity. Their offspring would certainly not be accepted by the people, and their dynasty would be overthrown. Remember you heard that news here first.

However, it needs to be pointed out that the story was set in the time of the Mongol Dynasty; the name Turando(kh)t is certainly not Chinese, but Persian, and the dokht part is short for dokhtar (you should not need to be told that it means "daughter", which was pronounced "dokhtar" in olden English, like German Tochter. The name Turan is not personal but geographical, and so she is a daughter of Central Asia, where her suitor Calaf and his father Timur came from.



New York Metropolitan Opera Broadcast
Radio New Zealand Concert network
Sunday 13th of May 2007 at 3pm

Franco Zeffirelli was behind this production.