In May of 1997, Zubin Mehta conducts and Zhang Yimou directs Puccini's "Turnadot" in Florence. A year later, they stage nine performances in Beijing. This documentary focuses on the China ... See full summary »
In May of 1997, Zubin Mehta conducts and Zhang Yimou directs Puccini's "Turnadot" in Florence. A year later, they stage nine performances in Beijing. This documentary focuses on the China production: a huge and elaborate set, hundreds of extras, three sets of principles, props and costumes matching the Ming Dynasty. Mehta, with his Indian roots and European training, revels in bringing disparate cultures together. Zhang wants the music to come through and anticipates the demands (and habits) of the Chinese audience. Rehearsals; production work; rain; talks with singers, crew, and local officials -- can it all come together? When the chorus is in full volume, no one sleeps. Written by
One does not need to necessarily be a fan of Opera to thouroughly enjoy and taken in by this film. The massive undertaking; bringing the classic Puccini Opera Turandot from Florence to Bejing is not as easy as it sounds! (And language while the obvious answer, is only the tip of the iceberg.)Over nine hundred members, and three principal casts, added to an unsettled, and fragile 600 year-old outdoor venue produce unique situations that must be worked out. The head spins as language transitions from Chinese to Italian to English to German, it's a divine miracle that the opening night went off without a hitch, in fact, it was brilliant. (Albeit, the public dress rehearsal was unfortunately rained out.) The camera work is comprehensive, without being intrusive, one feels as if they are one of the crew. I was overtaken by legitimate goose bumps as challenges were overcome, as if that was the way it's always been. Spectacular color, angelic voices, and a delicious mix of Chinese and Italian cultures make this fine documentary a must see!
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