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Subject: Re: Turandot
From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 13 Nov 2017 16:58:09 -0600
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When I was a graduate student at De Paul in Chicago, I had the opportunity to meet Birgit Nilsson, who was singing Brunnhilde in "Die Walkure" at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.  She was a very friendly and lovely lady. We talked about Turandot, and she said that Liu had the most beautiful music in the entire opera.  She went on to say that she would be on the verge of tears when Liu sang her two tiered aria before killing herself.  She said that she was glad that she had nothing to sing at that moment because she was so emotionally moved and had ample time to compose herself for the final scene.  She expressed great admiration for Mirella Freni, Leontyne Price, and Anna Moffo in the role.  In her book, she expresses surprise that Renata Tebaldi experienced so much difficulty recording Liu on the 1959 recording on RCA, since she seemed so suited to it.  She also said that she liked Turandot because the role was very short and it always allowed her to sing it alongside of Isolde and Elektra.  In fact, she sang both Turandot and Isolde in Chicago in 1958 (and the seasons then were pretty short in Chicago).
Nilsson was something else.
> On November 13, 2017 at 10:07 AM Larry Kellum <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> 
> Hi. Poor Calaf is restrained by guards, as is Liu, who in many
> performances i have seen breaks the shackles  to deliver her
> aria............who cares............the aria breaks my tear ducts
> after 40 (!!) some odd years of hearing it sung by every soprano known
> to mankind......its NOT ABOUT HIM at that moment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its
> Puccini being himself by getting some heroine in there, like every
> other opera of his, to follow his trademark of girl dying for man in
> one way or another..................................enjoy w/ kleenex
> the simpatica of the moment!! Larry
> 
> On Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 5:54 PM, Kiwi <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Calaf sends Liu and Timur away immediately after solving the riddles.  DUH!
> > He is aware that they may be in danger associating with him;  he even
> > cautions them in act I to be very careful because they are still being
> > hunted.
> >
> > And he offers Turandot another chance because he isn't thinking with his
> > other bodily site but with his heart:  her distress touches him and so he
> > offers her the same sort of riddle she asked of others, but with a totally
> > opposite result (marriage rather than beheading).
> >
> > And as Max Winter writes, Calaf certainly isn't polishing his nails while
> > Liu is being interrogated.  He's being held by guards who have weapons.
> >
> > I think you bring some prejudices to the opera house when (and if) you see
> > Turandot.
> >
> > -----Original Message----- From: Maxwell Paley
> > Sent: Friday, November 10, 2017 3:30 PM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: Turandot
> >
> > Having won the contest with Turandot that caused so many others to die, he
> > offers her an out - DOH! Further, the out he offers her throws Timur and Liu
> > under the bus - double DOH!
> >
> > As the other Max suggests, his blood is flowing to somewhere other than his
> > brain.
> >
> > Max Paley
> >
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >
> >> On Nov 10, 2017, at 08:40, Max D. Winter <[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 don't really think that's fair.  Calaf can't do anything about Liu's
> >> torture because he is being
> >> restrained by Turandot's guards.  And he loudly protests Liu's treatment
> >> and mourns her
> >> death.  Just what do you think he should have done?  Called on the power
> >> of his magic ring
> >> and spirited Liu off to safety?
> >>
> >> That said, I, too, find Calaf a rather uninteresting vial of testosterone.
> >>
> >> MDW
> >>
> >>
> >>
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