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Subject: Re: Calaf the Hero (Was Re: Turandot)
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 10 Nov 2017 19:19:15 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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This is the defense of Calaf I have been waiting for.  Pinkerton next?

I don't understand what prompts opera-goers to judge the characters on
stage as though they were real people.  They behave as they do, because
that's what inspires the music  If you're not there for the music, stay home
with TV.

dtmk.

On Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 12:36 PM, 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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