[Met Performance] CID:330066
Turandot {200} Metropolitan Opera House: 10/14/1997.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
October 14, 1997


TURANDOT {200}

Turandot................Jane Eaglen
CalÓf...................Luciano Pavarotti
Li¨.....................Hei-Kyung Hong
Timur...................Roberto Scandiuzzi
Ping....................Haijing Fu
Pang....................Michael Forest
Pong....................Richard Fracker
Emperor Altoum..........Charles Anthony
Mandarin................Vaclovas Daunoras
Maid....................Sara Wiedt
Maid....................Alexandra Newland
Prince of Persia........Daniel Kucan
Executioner.............Jason Kuschner
Three Masks: JosÚ Bercero, Joseph Fritz, Christopher Stocker
Temptresses: Linda Gelinas, Suzanne Laurence, Deanne Lay, Rachel Schuette

Conductor...............James Levine

Production..............Franco Zeffirelli
Set designer............Franco Zeffirelli
Costume designer........Anna Anni
Costume designer........Dada Saligeri
Choreographer...........Chiang Ching
Lighting designer.......Gil Wechsler
Stage Director..........David Kneuss

Review of Martin Mayer in Opera (UK)

What sold out was neither of these ["Manon" and "Ariadne"] but "Turandot" with Pavarotti and "Carmen" with Domingo. The former was also graced with Jane Eaglen in the title role and Hei-Kyung Hong as Li¨; the latter, with Denycc Graves, "Turandot" is what it is, and the very glitzy Zeffirelli production states the existence theorem precisely. For this cast, the staging has the problem that it's all up and down steps. Pavarotti can't climb them, and Eaglen descends them only with great care and some difficulty. But they both sang well - Pavarotti less well in the mczza-voce, partly, perhaps, because he had a mild cold (October 14). Eaglen remains something of a problem for me. Hers is beyond doubt the best Turandot we have had since Nilsson, and she is a major artist, but that vibrato-less voice sometimes has an acid flavour and she tends to sing notes rather than phrases.

Roberto Scandiuzzi was a fine Timur, the slightly hollow voice being entirely appropriate to the music. The ovation at the end went to Hong, not (as one critic thought) because hers is the most sympathetic role, but because she sang her part exquisitely and, as always, stayed in character reactively and intelligently, all night. Levine kept the orchestra under tight control to help, and then let it go with Puccinian sweep for the big numbers.



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