Great Performances: Season 27, Episode 16

Turandot at the Forbidden City of Beijing (9 Jun. 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Biography | Drama | Music
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 94 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

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Title: Turandot at the Forbidden City of Beijing (09 Jun 1999)

Turandot at the Forbidden City of Beijing (09 Jun 1999) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Episode cast overview:
Giovanna Casolla ...
Sergej Larin ...
Calaf (as Sergeij Larin)
Barbara Frittoli ...
Carlo Colombara ...
José Fardilha ...
Francesco Piccoli ...
Carlo Allemano ...
Aldo Bottion ...
Vittorio Vitelli ...
Un Mandarino
Liu Yuanyuan ...
Zubin Mehta ...
Himself - Conductor


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Release Date:

9 June 1999 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The character of Timur may have been based on Abdallah Es-Zaghal, Moorish king of Grenada, who sold his kingdom for $17,000,000, then was arrested by Benimeren, King of Fez, who blinded Abdallah and took his money. Abdullah was forced to live the life of an outcast, panhandling for money while wearing a sign that read, "This is the unfortunate king of Andalusia. See more »


Referenced in The Turandot Project (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent performance, DVD could have been better
4 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I considered going to this performance until I saw the price tag. Seeing the DVD, I wonder if I would have enjoyed it in person. The audience looked uncomfortable, there were tourists taking flash photography during the performance, etc. The performance was great and the staging was superb. The ninja executioner was brilliant, especially for DVD audiences who may not fully appreciate the static elements of the staging. The DVD I am not so happy with. I have a San Francisco Opera's laserdisc performance that aired on PBS that is still a better experience than this DVD. Why no Dolby Digital? The PCM audio track is a joke. I also happen to own a Placido Domingo, London Philarmonic, CD performance of Turandot which sounds much better than this PCM track. For instance, the beginning of the second scene on the second act (after the Ping, Pang, Pong trio) when the imperial court assembles should sound thunderous and full of pomp - in the PCM track it is as flat as a radio broadcast. I still love Turandot, as you might have guessed. I think Zubin Metha is a living treasure. I also applaud the producers for the courage to bring this performance to the Forbidden City. Perhaps the next time I can afford to go in person.

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