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Turandot

September 4, 2008
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Maybe it’s the setting…or maybe it’s my first experience…but despite the good reviews, I will say that it’s ok for me.

I attended my 1st Western opera last night with some colleagues, and amid the foreign language, I can’t really tell if it was a good or bad experience.

Firstly, the costumes & props were set in ancient China, but it was really weird hearing them sing in Italian. Maybe it’s also because of the setting that I started to make comparisons with Chinese opera, which I find is more interesting as in Chinese opera, it’s not just about the singing, but also about the movements & acting. Coz in the Western opera, when they start singing, it seems like they have to be stationary. I also noticed that 1 of the leads’ movements was not as refined as it should be, given the character played.
Maybe through this, I learn to appreciate Chinese opera more. Hey, I’ve been to both good & bad ones and also in dialects that I can’t understand.

But despite these I must say that I enjoyed Nancy Yuen’s (Liu) and Lee Jae Wook’s (Calaf) performance. Also I liked the familiar Nessun Dorma (None Shall Sleep Tonight) performed by Lee. And of course, being a fan of Maestro Tsung Yeh, who conducted the orchestra, I would say the music was good.

Some parts of the show were rather funny, given some comic characters (Ping, Pong, Pang) and the dramatic actions, especially the ending kissing scene where Calaf very dramatically pulled Turandot towards him to kiss her. We couldn’t help laughing at that part. Not that I’m not a romantic, but if you saw it, you would know what I mean.
Also, we noticed that the props were likely inspired by the “Mystery Men” exhibition hosted by the ACM last year, with all the Bronze Age emphasis, though Peking wasn’t actually the capital at that time.

Anyway, maybe next time, I should watch something that’s set differently like Aida, or in a more European setting.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 12, 2011 9:40 am

    Just discovered n love BitB, Jeremy n Ilsa! Look forward to reading your other posts.

    To its credit, SLO tries really hard and we should support them. We can also get our opera fixes overseas or by watching DVDs from the NY Met n other reputable opera houses.

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