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Subject: More on Martinelli as Emperor in Turandot
From: "Roy D." <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Roy D.
Date:Tue, 25 Apr 2017 10:14:11 -0400

text/plain (57 lines)

Roger Bell and Jay’s comments about the cast of a Seattle Turandot with Martinelli and Nilsson sent me to the Seattle Opera’s online performance archive. It turns out there were two separate productions of Turandot in the late 1960’s in Seattle - one in which Martinelli played Altoum for one night, and one in which Nilsson sang the title role, but not in the same production together.

The 1967 production ran on Jan. 31 and Feb. 2 & 4. The performance archive is somewhat clunky to navigate and only show program page scans for the casts. For these three dates, the program shows Amedeo Zambon as Calaf, Ella Lee as Liu, William Wllderman as Timur and Licia Vallon as Turandot. Russell Arwine is listed as “The Emperor of China” with no reference to Martinelli. Here’s the link for the cover page and cast page: <>

However, the performance archive webpage that comes up when the 1967 Turandot is searched for has a photograph of Martinelli with the cast and states “A special guest appeared at Seattle Opera for one night only in 1967, in the role of Emperor Alton: famed Italian tenor Giovanni Martinelli...” but doesn’t specify which of the three performances he was in. Here’s the link to that page: <>

There was another Turandot production in Seattle in 1969 that did have Brigit Nilsson as the ice princess, along with Ernesto Veronelli as Calaf, Evelyn Mandac as Liu, Nicola Moscona as Timur and Rodrigo Anaya as Altoum. The performance dates for Nilsson were Oct. 30, Nov. 1,5 & 8 - (there was an alternate cast Nov. 7 with Mary Curtis-Verna as Turandot). Here’s the link for that program page: <>

PS- you have to click on the page images to change them.

- Roy

> Begin forwarded message:
> From: Jay & Ralph <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Martinelli as Emperor in Turandot
> Date: April 24, 2017 at 4:00:47 PM EDT
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Reply-To: Jay & Ralph <[log in to unmask]>
> I was in attendance.
> Birgit Nilsson was Turandot.
> The scenery was supplied by  2 movie projectors
> (the gossip was that film editing was being done on the fly at the opening night)
> J
> ----- Roger Bell <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Greetings everyone,
>> Giovanni Martinelli sang the Emperor in "Turandot" in Seattle in 1967, aged 82,according to various sources. I am told an extract recorded and available variously was issued by Eddie Smith in a concocted version with Martinelli as Calaf.
>> I wondered if anyone knows the precise cast information of that Seattle "Turandot". I have been told that Amadeo Zambon was the Calaf. If there are any other cast names, I'd be very grateful to know them.
>> If anyone knows if there is an extant authentic recording of that Seattle performance, perhaps just excerpts, I'd also be very grateful for information. I don't suppose any commercial recording of that has ever appeared.
>> Regards to all
>> Roger D BellLancashireEngland

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