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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | February 26, 1993
The Washington Opera's current production of "Turandot" is far from perfect. But this production at the Kennedy Center of Puccini's last (and not quite completed) masterpiece is as good as anyone in the Baltimore-Washington area is likely to hear. WhThe Washington Opera's current production of "Turandot" is far from perfect. But this production at the Kennedy Center of Puccini's last (and not quite completed) masterpiece is as good as anyone in the Baltimore-Washington area is likely to hear.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | May 31, 2009
The first time Placido Domingo stood on the stage of Baltimore's Lyric Opera House, he sang. When he returns on Tuesday, after 43 years, he won't open his mouth. Instead, the eminent Spanish-born singer, who has performed at all of the world's leading opera houses and who, with Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras, rocked the global market in 1990 as part of the storied Three Tenors phenomenon, will be on the podium. He will conduct Puccini's Turandot with soloists, orchestra and chorus of Washington National Opera.
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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 21, 2006
The Kirov Opera can be counted on to grab ears and eyes on its annual visit to Washington. The famed company from the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg is back at the Kennedy Center through the weekend, this time focusing on non-Russian repertoire -- swan songs by Wagner and Puccini and, in concert, Verdi's Requiem. On Sunday afternoon, the residency opened with a frequently stirring production of Turandot, Puccini's fable of ancient Peking. Although an occasional whiff of provincialism clouded the venture, there was enough high-voltage singing and orchestral playing to unleash the opera's combustible mix of passion, exoticism and pure, delectable kitsch.
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 Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | October 19, 1992
The Baltimore Opera Company's current production of Puccini's "Turandot" has many of the right ingredients -- they just aren't there in enough abundance for genuine success. "Turandot" -- which the company performed Saturday night in the Lyric Opera House and will repeat Wednesday, Friday and Sunday -- is a musico-dramatic feast. But a smart host doesn't invite guests to a feast -- and then ration the food.Much the best thing about the production was director Bliss Hebert's staging and Allen Klein's sets and costumes.
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.
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 | February 21, 2006
The Kirov Opera can be counted on to grab ears and eyes on its annual visit to Washington. The famed company from the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg is back at the Kennedy Center through the weekend, this time focusing on non-Russian repertoire -- swan songs by Wagner and Puccini and, in concert, Verdi's Requiem. On Sunday afternoon, the residency opened with a frequently stirring production of Turandot, Puccini's fable of ancient Peking. Although an occasional whiff of provincialism clouded the venture, there was enough high-voltage singing and orchestral playing to unleash the opera's combustible mix of passion, exoticism and pure, delectable kitsch.
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Lori Sears | June 7, 2001
POP-MUSIC CONCERT Some folks just know how to throw a birthday party. Take B102.7 for instance. The radio station is celebrating its fourth year on the air tomorrow with a "Birthday Blowout" -- an all-star pop-music concert featuring Wyclef Jean, O-Town, Jessica Simpson, 3LW and Sarina Paris. The show begins at 7 p.m. at Pier Six Concert Pavilion, 731 Eastern Ave. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All seats $30. Call 410-481-SEAT. 'No Black Male Show' Center Stage's Off Center series offers its final show of the season this weekend with Carl Hancock Rux's "No Black Male Show."
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."
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 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.
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 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 NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | June 15, 1997
I will be in Paris in September. Where can I find a calendar of cultural events?Paris Selection, a free monthly publication put out by the Paris Tourist Office, probably contains the most thorough listing of cultural events. It comes out two weeks before the first of each month. Your best bet would be to contact the office directly around the first week of August. The mailing address is Service Courrier, Paris Tourist Office, 127 Avenue des Champs-Elysees, 75008 Paris. Call (33-1) 49.52.53.
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