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NEWS
October 21, 1992
OUR Friend in Perpetual High Dudgeon came storming into the office the other day, whistling and mumbling. His whistles were from the stirring patriotic theme in "Turandot," the Puccini stem-winder now at the Lyric under the auspices of the Baltimore Opera Company. His mumblings were something else.Asked why he was in High Dudgeon on a sunlit October day, our friend relied: "It's that Calaf. He is unspeakable. A real louse." From the tirade that followed, we surmised that Calaf was the demi-hero of the opera, a prince in disguise who was really turned on by Turandot.
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NEWS
By TIM SMITH | May 19, 2009
So many over-the-top elements come together in Puccini's lush swan song, Turandot, that it can be easy to forget that this operatic fairy tale has something genuine to say about the nature of love and sacrifice. Andrei Serban's now-classic 25-year-old staging delivers that message in an unusually effective, even affecting manner. Designed for and often revived at London's Royal Opera House, the Serban production has been imported by Washington National Opera to wrap up the company's Kennedy Center season.
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FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 4, 2000
"Ice that sets you on fire " So begins the third of three riddles asked by Turandot, the beautiful and deadly Chinese princess, of any man foolish enough to seek her hand. Any man of royal blood may take up the challenge and try to solve her three puzzles. But any who fail will face the executioner's blade. "If she sets you free "She makes you a slave." By the beginning of Giacomo Puccini's opera, "Turandot" -- which is being performed by the Teatro Lirico d'Europa at the Mechanic Theatre tomorrow -- some 25 suitors have been put to death by the implacable princess, and as the curtain goes up, the prince of Persia is about to become No. 26. It makes for a horrifying spectacle.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 26, 2001
A princess with ice-water in her veins and a penchant for word-games; a prince with a one-track mind; a slave with a debatable sense of duty - it all adds up to one of the most deliciously over-the-top operas in the repertoire, Puccini's "Turandot." This combination of Chinese fairy tale and passionate Italian music requires many ingredients to be fully satisfying. Although one heaping tablespoon short in the vocal department, the Washington Opera's production, unveiled Saturday night at the Kennedy Center, is awfully tasty.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | October 11, 1992
The conventional wisdom about "Turandot," Puccini's last operatic extravaganza about sex and sadism in excelsus, is that the great composer couldn't finish the opera because of his death from throat cancer in 1924. The falling off in quality in "Turandot's" final 15 minutes is usually blamed on the failure of Franco Alfano, the composer hired to complete the work from Puccini's sketches, to meet the Puccinian standard.But one suspects that the real reason for the opera's sputtering in its final moments is that "Turandot" itself had come to a dead end months before the composer's death: Puccini himself was unable to imagine what manner of love could exist between his fiery hero and the icy princess who gives the opera its name.
NEWS
By TIM SMITH | May 19, 2009
So many over-the-top elements come together in Puccini's lush swan song, Turandot, that it can be easy to forget that this operatic fairy tale has something genuine to say about the nature of love and sacrifice. Andrei Serban's now-classic 25-year-old staging delivers that message in an unusually effective, even affecting manner. Designed for and often revived at London's Royal Opera House, the Serban production has been imported by Washington National Opera to wrap up the company's Kennedy Center season.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 26, 2001
A princess with ice-water in her veins and a penchant for word-games; a prince with a one-track mind; a slave with a debatable sense of duty - it all adds up to one of the most deliciously over-the-top operas in the repertoire, Puccini's "Turandot." This combination of Chinese fairy tale and passionate Italian music requires many ingredients to be fully satisfying. Although one heaping tablespoon short in the vocal department, the Washington Opera's production, unveiled Saturday night at the Kennedy Center, is awfully tasty.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | June 3, 2001
About eight months before his death in 1924, Giacomo Puccini made an unsettling prediction concerning the project he was working on -- an opera called "Turandot," about a Chinese princess who plays a wicked variation on "The Dating Game." "My opera will be given incomplete," Puccini said, "and then someone will come onstage and say to the public, 'At this point the composer died.' " On the night of April 25, 1926, at the world premiere of "Turandot" at Milan's famed La Scala, conductor Arturo Toscanini stopped the performance about midway through the third act, turned to the audience and said: "Here the opera ends, because at this point the Maestro died."
NEWS
May 16, 2009
Stars in D.C. for premiere of 'Night at the Museum' The exhibits didn't come to life, but they were about the only things inanimate at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Thursday night, as Washington's most popular tourist attraction played host to the world premiere of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. Stars were everywhere, and not the celestial kind. Ben Stiller, dapper in a black-vested suit, had to be yanked inside the museum, unwilling as he was to stop posing with the crowd of hopeful stargazers gathered outside.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | June 12, 2001
Puccini's "Turandot," the operatic proof of Oscar Wilde's dictum that "nothing succeeds like excess," makes enormous demands on singers, directors, conductors, orchestras, stage and costume designers. So many factors go into just getting this whole, glorious mix of adult fairy tale and Technicolor music in front of an audience that many an opera company falls short in one area or another, leaving "Turandot," like the title character's would-be suitors, without a key appendage. Over the weekend, the Baltimore Opera Company met the challenge triumphantly.
FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 4, 2000
"Ice that sets you on fire " So begins the third of three riddles asked by Turandot, the beautiful and deadly Chinese princess, of any man foolish enough to seek her hand. Any man of royal blood may take up the challenge and try to solve her three puzzles. But any who fail will face the executioner's blade. "If she sets you free "She makes you a slave." By the beginning of Giacomo Puccini's opera, "Turandot" -- which is being performed by the Teatro Lirico d'Europa at the Mechanic Theatre tomorrow -- some 25 suitors have been put to death by the implacable princess, and as the curtain goes up, the prince of Persia is about to become No. 26. It makes for a horrifying spectacle.
NEWS
October 21, 1992
OUR Friend in Perpetual High Dudgeon came storming into the office the other day, whistling and mumbling. His whistles were from the stirring patriotic theme in "Turandot," the Puccini stem-winder now at the Lyric under the auspices of the Baltimore Opera Company. His mumblings were something else.Asked why he was in High Dudgeon on a sunlit October day, our friend relied: "It's that Calaf. He is unspeakable. A real louse." From the tirade that followed, we surmised that Calaf was the demi-hero of the opera, a prince in disguise who was really turned on by Turandot.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | October 11, 1992
The conventional wisdom about "Turandot," Puccini's last operatic extravaganza about sex and sadism in excelsus, is that the great composer couldn't finish the opera because of his death from throat cancer in 1924. The falling off in quality in "Turandot's" final 15 minutes is usually blamed on the failure of Franco Alfano, the composer hired to complete the work from Puccini's sketches, to meet the Puccinian standard.But one suspects that the real reason for the opera's sputtering in its final moments is that "Turandot" itself had come to a dead end months before the composer's death: Puccini himself was unable to imagine what manner of love could exist between his fiery hero and the icy princess who gives the opera its name.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | March 10, 1992
The 1992-'93 Baltimore Opera Company season will be characterized by two blockbuster operas that play bookends to a lyric and sentimental one.The season, announced yesterday by the BOC, will open in October with Puccini's "Turandot," continue in March with Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love," and conclude in April with the first Baltimore performances of Verdi's "Nabucco," perhaps the first piece in which the composer unequivocally announced his greatness....
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | March 10, 1992
The 1992-'93 Baltimore Opera Company season will be characterized by two blockbuster operas that play bookends to a lyric and sentimental one.The season, announced yesterday by the BOC, will open in October with Puccini's "Turandot," continue in March with Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love," and conclude in April with the first Baltimore performances of Verdi's "Nabucco," perhaps the first piece in which the composer unequivocally announced his greatness....
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