Favourite opera? – SlippediscSlippedisc | The inside track on classical music and related cultures, by Norman Lebrecht

norman lebrecht

December 24, 2022

Slippedisc, courtesy of OperaVision has broadcast weekly operas for our readers almost every week this year.   One of our favourites from the  2022 selection is Puccini’s Turandot in a new staging by Daniel Kramer in Geneva.  He transposes the old fairy tale to a futuristic world where Turandot’s magic holds sway. In a dystopian game show, reminiscent of Hunger Games, the Princess presides over a surveillance state in which men are culled and the reproduction of the human race is conducted in breeding labs. For the first time in their career, the international art collective teamLab work extensively on the scenography of an opera, using state-of-the-art visual technologies never before seen on an opera stage. teamLab’s light creations are an immersive artistic experience known for their power to absorb and enthral audiences. Antonino Fogliani, a master of the Italian repertoire, conducts an excellent cast including Ingela Brimberg who returns to  the Grand Théâtre de Genève as the icy Princess Turandot and Teodor Ilincai as Calaf.    Enjoy his Nessun dorma in the last act.  Sung in Italian with subtitles in English, Italian and French

The Plot:  Puccini’s last opera is all about riddles. The Emperor of China rules over the Forbidden City of Peking. His unmarried daughter, the Princess Turandot, has refused her hand to all her princely suitors by putting them to a test. She sets them three riddles; if they do not answer them correctly, they will lose their heads. As unlucky suitors fail and fall, up steps Calaf, a prince of the Tatar people.

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