While I do prefer Tosca, La Boheme and Madama Butterfly(rather clichéd answers I know) of Puccini's operas, but Turandot, being the first opera that I sang in the chorus for, is very special to me. As much as I adore the 1987 Met production, this 1983 production is every bit as good if not better.
I cannot fault it musically. Turandot has several intense(the Riddles scene) and poignant(Signor Ascolta, Liu's death) moments, and the story and characters are very memorable.
It is quite difficult music too, the Grind-and-Sharpen Chorus I remember being a nightmare to learn and it was a disaster on our opening night with the basses missing half their entries, and Turandot is a very demanding role, because of In Questa Reggia and how high some of the tessitura is.
The production meets the demands of the music more than admirably with the orchestra playing truly excellent, and the conducting too. The Chorus are wonderful too, particularly at the end of act 2. The sets are colourful and of haunting quality, and the costumes are nicely oriental too.
Superb performances too. Eva Marton is truly magnificent in one of her best roles, like Ghena Dimitrova she has the voice of a volcano, and vocally and dramatically hair-raising in act 2. Jose Carreras is wonderfully heroic as Calaf, with one of the better Nessun Dormas I've heard in some time. Katia Ricciarelli is a truly poignant Liu, although act 3 is spellbinding with or without Liu, Ricciarelli makes this act for me.
John Paul Bogart is a noble Timur, and Ping, Pong and Pang while very funny also have depth to them, they steal all their scenes.
Overall, one of the best Turandots in my opinion. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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