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The sequel is not the least bit Athenian. Liù in her loyalty (Amanda Thane) falls a first female victim to the impossible princess. This was a scene specially requested by Puccini, and it redounds to nobody's credit [watch and listen -- 'Principessa divina' (Act 3), chapter 25, 92:10-93:44]. Nevertheless, it must be said at once that this budget DVD from Opus Arte is magnificent value. The performance of soloists, chorus and orchestra under Carlo Felice Cillario is full-blooded and as idiomatic as his reputation has rightly led us to expect. The 1990 production by Graeme Murphy is brimful of imagination, shirking none of the horrors, but masking them in settings of such sumptuous oriental opulence that the sorry saga takes on an epic quality of terrifying intensity perhaps beyond its deserts. Leaflet economy sent me to an unusual number of reference books; nor, alas, do all chapter numbers chart accurately Puccini's progress through the score. Otherwise nothing but praise.

Ealynn Voss in the title role of Puccini's 'Turandot', in a scene from Act III. DVD screenshot © 2006 Opus Arte
Ealynn Voss in the title role of Puccini's 'Turandot', in a scene from Act III. DVD screenshot © 2006 Opus Arte

 

Copyright © 3 May 2006 Robert Anderson, London UK

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Turandot

OA F4004 D DVD9 NTSC 4:3 Stereo FIRST DVD RELEASE 128' 1991 Australian Opera; 2006 Opus Arte

Ealynn Voss, Princess Turandot; Amanda Thane, Liù; Kenneth Collins, Calaf; Donald Shanks, Timur; David Brennan, Ping; Jonathon Welch, Pang; Graeme Ewer, Pong; Graeme Macfarlane, Altoum; Jin Tea Kim, Prince of Persia; Greg Scott, A Mandarin; Genevieve Killalea, handmaiden; Chloris Vowels, handmaiden; Opera Australia; Carlo Felice Cillario, conductor; Graeme Murphy, director; The Australian Opera Chorus; State Orchestra of Victoria; Greg Shears, executive producer; Lindesay Dresdon, TV director; Maria Vandamme, sound producer

Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924): Turandot (opera in three acts)

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