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Subject: Re: Calaf the Hero (Was Re: Turandot)
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 10 Nov 2017 09:40:24 -0800
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He’s not a villain. He’s just stupid.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On Nov 10, 2017, at 09:36, G. Paul Padillo <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Tom Frey wrote:
> 
> "[Calaf] is a true rectum who stands by while his servant girl is tortured till she commits 
> suicide to protect his sorry butt."
> 
> * * * * *
> 
> 
> I love Calaf.  No, he is not the most interesting operatic character, but fairy tale heroes, 
> very rarely are,
> 
> Is Calaf any more of a cad or villain than, say Siegfried?  The chief purpose of each of these 
> guys is to serve as heroic romantic figure to a damsel who is so much damaged goods; the 
> first a wounded goddess stripped of her rank and immortality; the second a man-eating ice 
> princess.  Each "awakens" his woman with a rousing good duet, which in Turandot means 
> peace is finally restored to a town most notable for its nightly executions and display of 
> heads on spikes.  Even with the Prince of Persia's freshly decapitated noggin staring at him, 
> Calaf enters and wins the challenge.  No, he may not be the brightest of boys, but his 
> display of cojones is formidable  
> 
> It’s frequently asserted that Calaf treats Liu shabbily, but this just is not so.  He’s never met 
> her before today and “today” he learns she was a slave in his father’s court.  Nonetheless, 
> he’s touched by her, treats her tenderly, thanks her and asks her to continue watching over 
> “he who smiles no more.”  “Non piangere Liu” and the sequence following up until the gong 
> is one of the most sweeping, exciting scenes in opera.  
> 
> During Liu’s torture Calaf is restrained, the libretto states not only his hands, but his feet 
> are bound (this is China, after all!) and yet people keep saying he should’ve done 
> something.  I’m fairly certain even yelling out his own name in the heat of the moment, he 
> would’ve sealed both their fates, kept the reign of blood going meaning Turandot would 
> have never had her "primi pianti" to break, the fairy tale's curse.  
> 
> Again, I assert the complete Alfano ending is the only way to go, fleshing out the story 
> giving the finale the breadth and breath it needs to make it to the finish line.
> 
> p.
> 
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