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Subject: Re: Turandot
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Fri, 10 Nov 2017 11:32:10 -0500

text/plain (35 lines)

"Turandot" was the first opera that really grabbed me and fired my imagination and interest 
in opera.  One of my earliest operatic experiences, at age 7, was the dress rehearsal of a 
1964 production in San Antonio with Frances Yeend, Richard Tucker, and Teresa Stratas.  I 
particularly remember the set for the first act, with heads on spikes lining the palace wall.  I 
had a rather grisly imagination when young, and I thought that was really cool.  Another 
vivid memory of that evening was that my father was a super in the production.  My sister 
and I were backstage before the rehearsal began and we ran smack into this ferocious-
looking Mongol warrior that turned out to be Dad.  (My sister was scared, I was impressed; 
didn't know Dad could look so cool.)

My parents had the RCA recording of "Turandot" with Nilsson and Bjoerling.  I listened to it 
over and over and studied the libretto, and it was my introduction to Nilsson, Bjoerling and 
Tebaldi, all of whom remain among my favorite operatic artists of all time.  Later in San 
Antonio, in 1969, I saw Turandot again, this time with Nilsson, Tucker and Evelyn Mandac, a 
beautiful Liu.

I can't say that the opera has worn well on me over the years.  It is impressive and 
dramatic, certainly, but not profound and rather meretricious.  And I am with those who find 
the music tiresome after Liu's death.  But it can still make an effect on me. Those first loves 
never really die, do they?


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