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Subject: Re: Turandot
From: Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 8 Nov 2017 18:56:33 -0500

text/plain (55 lines)

I'm a Turandot junkie of sorts and will respond by saying that your 
description doesn't have to be the way the opera plays out.  It's 
conventional to have bland characters but I was lucky enough to see a 
production in Liege in which the flat characters became three dimensional, 
there was never ever any doubt that Calaf cared, and cared deeply, about 
Liu, that no one expected Liu to kill herself (she did so by throwing 
herself on Turandot's sword) and everyone reacted in horror at Liu's death, 
including Turandot who ended up doing a full Lady MacBeth with the wiping of 
the hands.  Calaf was opening sobbing as he cradled the body as he grieved 
with his father.  Beautifully done.

Now, to get around the abrupt change in temperature on the stage, as all of 
them mourned Liu, Puccini arrives on stage.  Turandot and Calaf both help 
Liu to her feet as Puccini takes her place prone on the stage and characters 
from all of Puccini's operas join Calaf, Turandot, and Liu in mourning the 
loss of the maestro (and the sadness of not having a finished opera).

Not without controversy, of course, but that moment when Puccini arrives, 
then dies, then is mourned not only by the Turandot cast but by all his 
major characters (as well as select representatives from the stage hands) 
had a tremendous impact on the audience.  It was emotionally impactful, if a 
little bit on the cheat side.....

-----Original Message----- 
From: Peter Hammond
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 1:26 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Turandot

Well, since you said you'd like to hear from others on this, I agree that 
the opera is a great spectacle with some rousing music. "Nessun Dorma" has 
certainly pulled its weight in popularizing "operatic" singing. My problem 
with it all is that I can't care about the two lead characters. Turandot 
makes her bloody bargain and then tries to renege on it when she loses, 
after having held so many others to its enforcement. Calaf is cavalier about 
Liu from the beginning. "Who are you?" he asks. Oh, nobody, just a slave who 
loves you and has saved your father. "Well, keep it up" he basically advises 
her. Even Pinkerton had more charm than this man. He and Turandot are a good 
match, I suppose, but I can't rejoice in their happiness. For this opera to 
work I think that is required, in contrast to, say, "Bluebeard's Castle" as 
Rich mentioned; that opera feels complete because we have not been asked to 
celebrate the ending.

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