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Subject: Re: Final observations about Turandot
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 11 Nov 2017 16:02:32 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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Anyone who has been at all interested in this topic should not leave
without reading
the generous assortment of reviews of the first Met production and its
several revivals
commencing with the American premiere of 1926.  Entertaining and
instructive, especially
for those who expect TURANDOT to resemble a tv "reality" show.

To my short list of performances in the distant past, I'd like to attend
via Time Machine,
I must now add any one of those, with its opulent decor and costumes by the
Urban family,
who, I am certain, made the generic splendor of Zeffirelli look like trash,
and the voices of
either Jeritza or Florence Easton, and Lauri-Volpi or Edward Johnson.  The
critical enthusiasm
was far greater than we have been led to believe, and it remains something
of a mystery
exactly why audiences, even before the first season of presentations ended,
began to wane.
We must remember that Puccini's other late works, TRITTICO, and especially
FANCIULLA
met with a similar fate.

dtmk

On Sat, Nov 11, 2017 at 2:46 PM, Tom Frey <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I believe the main factor that Turandot was rather rare in the past is the
> difficulty of the title role vocally. It's not like Mimi, Butterfly or
> Tosca which many sopranos can handle, but needs a real powerhouse to pull
> off. The live performances I attended had forgettable attempts. I do recall
> a Galvany outing that truly shook the house. Nilsson quality Turandots do
> not come often.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Sat, 11 Nov 2017 14:23:29 -0500 (EST)
> Subject: Re: Final observations about Turandot
>
> Les
>
> Not quite! The Gina Cigna Azzali bio is called "Principessa Turandot" in
> honor
> of the fact that she sang the role way, way more than 100 times, not only
> throughout
> Italy but in Buenos Aires, Rio, Sao Paolo, Lisbon, Madrid and Budapest, at
> least.
> Bianca Scacciati, as well, was famous as Turandot for a number of years.
>
> One of the most famous pre WWII opera recordings is Turandot with Cigna,
> Olivero and Merli. It had wide distribution at the time of its release and
> was
> pretty much always in circulation in a number of subsequent incarnations.
>
> It is true that Turandot languished in the Anglo-Geman opera firmament, not
> unlike Fanciulla, but like the earlier Puccini opera, it was produced in
> Italy and much of the
> Latin World with persistent regularity. The rest of the World caught up
> with both
> operas in the fifties, and the rest is history.
>
> Bob
>
> On Sat, Nov 11, 2017 at 13:54 Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > I find it interesting that "Turandot" was looked upon as a "Puccini
> > exotica" in the period of the 1930s and 1940s.  It was performed only
> very
> > occasionally in Europe and the UK and it was covered in the earlier
> > editions of "The Victor Book of Operas". Opera lovers knew about it, but
> I
> > don't think they really heard it.  Birgit Nilsson herself said that when
> > the opera was proposed to her in 1954 in Stockholm, she openly admitted
> > that she never heard a note of it.  Like the South Pole, everyone knew it
> > was there, but very few ventured there. Then all of a sudden, in the
> 1950s,
> > came recordings from London/Decca (Borkh, Tebaldi, del Monaco), EMI
> > (Callas, Schwarzkopf, Fernandi), and finally the first Nilsson recording
> > with Nilsson, Tebaldi, Bjoerling, and Tozzi ---- and the opera was
> launched
> > into a popularity it never knew before.  And of course that famous Met
> > revival with Nilsson and Corelli didn't hurt it either.  From that time
> on,
> > "Turandot" became a staple of the standard repertoire and it has remained
> > there.  Nilsson herself said that it was Wagner that made her reputation,
> > but it was Turandot that "made my fortune".  It should have because her
> > voice was ideal for it.  She must have sung it over and over all over the
> > world.  It was HER opera and no one else came even close.
> >      Whether one likes the opera or not, it's certainly here to stay and
> > it's not going anywhere.  Who would have predicted this in the 1940s?
> >
> > > On November 11, 2017 at 10:41 AM donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > > Be careful what you wish for; the other topic might be about
> > > Milanov or Tebaldi.
> > >
> > > I think it's useful to know where each contributor stands on a
> > > controversial topic.  TURANDOT is one of the peaks in operatic
> > > history, and will be discussed as long as it maintains a place in
> > > the repertoire.
> > >
> > > dtmk
> > >
> > > On Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 8:48 PM, semiramide1945 . <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > > You know haven't we done this Turandot thing to death. Maybe time for
> > > > another subject?
> > > >
> > > > On Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 2:56 PM, Tom Frey <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > agreed
> > > > >
> > > > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > > > From: R PRADA <[log in to unmask]>
> > > > > To: [log in to unmask]
> > > > > Sent: Fri, 10 Nov 2017 14:50:34 -0500 (EST)
> > > > > Subject: Turandot
> > > > >
> > > > > I have seen this opera many times, and it does not float my boat,
> for
> > > > some
> > > > > reason. I simply can’t get emotionally involved, and although I
> like
> > some
> > > > > of the music, I would be happy if popular culture moved on from the
> > tenor
> > > > > aria, and while they are on it, please get over O Mio Babbino Caro
> as
> > > > well
> > > > >
> > > > > Truly I am a Mozart, Handel, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi,
> and
> > > > > Offenbach enthusiast. Most of these composers have held my
> attention
> > > > since
> > > > > childhood.  I also love lieder, chanson, canzone, e tutu quant,
> > starting
> > > > > with old Italian. Puccini is only intermittently interesting to me
> > > > anyway.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > So what I am saying it that it’s a very personal matter.
> > > > >
> > > > > Happy Fall Day
> > > > > Best
> > > > > RP
> > > > >
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