I'll always have a fondness for Turandot, and while not my first choice this production from Orange is generally very good. The costumes and sets manage to be atmospheric and oriental, and the staging especially Turandot's In Questa Reggia and Riddle scene in Act 2 is constantly compelling. Musically, it is excellent, with the orchestral playing and chorus singing powerful and stirring and the conducting doing very well in keeping things moving. The singing is generally of a high standard, Lisse Lindstrom and Maria Luigia Borsi. Lindstrom's singing is more lyrical in places than most Turandots, but still is powerful and commanding. She has a regal and imperiously chilling stage presence as well. Borsi's Liu is just heartbreaking, she sings with such appealing sweetness and makes the most of her big Act 3 scene and Signor Ascolta. Marco Spotti's Timur is noble and moving, especially in his grief over Liu's death in Act 3, Chris Meritt vocally is one of the better Emperors there is in recent years and Ping, Pang and Pong as you'd expect steal every scene they're in. I was a little mixed on the Calaf of Roberto Alagna though. He is good in the first two acts, he looks handsome, is ardent and heroic and has a nice tone. He is not so good in Act 3 however, his third vincero(which is Calaf's money moment) doesn't make any impact and his duet with Turandot at times is almost inaudible. Overall, while I was mixed on Alagna, everything else was very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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