Turandot ★ ★ ★ ★
Joan Sutherland Theatre, Opera Home
Revivals of Graeme Murphy’s swirling, striking 1990 production of Puccini’s insufficient last opera Turandot (finished by Franco Alfano in 1924) are constantly welcome. With designer
Kristian Fredrikson and lighting designer John Drummond Montgomery, Murphy has actually produced a symbolic language of white fans, red ribbons, ghostly moons, and routine motion both comic and terrible, sent through undulating crowds that stream like moving mist. He locations this 12th century Persian story in the context of a mythic dreamscape, leaving its troublesome presumptions undisputed. Is belongings and the melting of icy ridicule with the fire of enthusiasm actually a beneficial archetype for love nowadays? Turandot and her potential holder Calaf definitely appear to believe so and Puccini, who enjoyed to charge his melodic lines with swelling strength, plainly enjoyed the idea. Lise Lindstrom
sings Turandot with a steely effective noise that, in her Act 2 entryway, is commanding instead of comely and skyrockets imperiously above the crowd. She handles the troublesome shift from terrible haughtiness to domestic chains in Act 3 with deftness and a sure control both theatrically and musically. Yonghoon Lee as Calaf
emerges from the opening crowd scene with a voice filled with younger colour and he and Lindstrom have minutes in their duets which flash with electrifying forcefulness. Lee started Nessun dorma by cultivating quieter tones, opening out to a clenched climactic noise that maintained unblemished finish. As Liu, the servant lady on whose goodness all the pathos of the opera is lavished, Karah Kid had a warm and highly meaningful noise– not the waif-like openness on which the part often relies, however a fuller tone that however accomplished a bell-like ring on specific upper register notes. Regardless of his relative youth, David Parkin produced age-grained self-respect in the singing texture as Calaf’s blind father. As the comic trio of court authorities, Pong, Pang and Ping, Virgilio Marino, Iain Henderson and Luke Gabbedy integrate a mindset of elaborate politeness with deadpan realism. Set down on his imposing outfit like the Wizard of Id, Dean Bassett developed a power-weary Emperor, and Alexander Sefton an officiously administrative Mandarin. Much of the gripping effect of Act 1 depended on the Opera Australia Chorus who sang with subtlety in minutes of enormous tranquility and grasping force at climaxes. Conductor Renato Palumbo assisted ball game’s fluid sweep, sharp angularities and welling emotionalism with carefully attuned musical and theatrical perceptiveness and the big orchestra included its variety through minutes of implacable force, modernist creativity and solo special with positive professionalism. Turandot is at the Sydney Opera Home till March 14. See for information and tickets. A cultural guide to heading out and caring your city.