The Dallas Opera’s lavish “Turandot” features an all-star international cast in the lead roles, including the TDO debut of Lise Lindstron in her signature role as the Chinese Princess Turandot. Her character’s hate/love interest Antonello Palombi (Calaf) returns after a triumphant performance as Radamès in TDO’s season opener “Aida.” Soprano Hei-Kyung Hong (Liù) is perfectly cast as the heart of this intriguing love story riddled with enigmas. In Act 1, her “Signore, ascolta” thrilled the audience with its pure tone, beauty and emotion.
During opening night of “Turandot” soprano Lise Lindstron delighted audiences with her tone, phrasing and excellent portrayal of the cold and ruthless princess. In one of opera’s most powerful songs “In questa Reggia” Lindstron easily soared through the Puccini’s demanding and beautiful score. Lindstron’s character Princess Turandot seems obvious to the suffering of the young men who are slain when they are unable to correctly answer her riddles. “In questa Reggia” is an explanation of why she wants her independence and refuses to marry any suitor.
“And Lo-u-Ling, my ancestress, dragged away by a man like you, like you, stranger, there in the terrible night where her young voice was stifled!”
Puccini’s last opera is exquisite. One of the most famous songs in the opera world is his “Nessun dorma!” Tenor Antonello Palombi sings it in Act III, with the intended realism of the verismo style, but he still fills the stage with passion and romance. His character, Calaf, falls in love with the beautiful, yet unattainable Turandot. He is willing to die if he cannot answer her three riddles correctly. He also has a test of his own for the ice princess. If Turandot finds out his name before dawn, she will win back her independence. The lyrics of “Nessun Dorma” compliment the lush romance of the grand opera:
“Nobody shall sleep!...
Nobody shall sleep!
Even you, o Princess,
in your cold room,
watch the stars,
that tremble with love and with hope.
But my secret is hidden within me,
my name no one shall know...”
The choir directed by Chorus Master Alexander Rom also deserves applause for their brilliant performance. The guest conductor Marco Zambelli returns from his critically acclaimed performance in “Romeo and Juliet.” During opening night there were a few times where the pacing was a little too slow for the performers, but tiny imperfections will be worked out. Stunning music fills the Winspear Opera House in this grand opera. "Turandot" is a treat for the eyes and the ears with its exciting opera stars, music, sets, costumes and a classic love story with surprises.
"Turandot" April 10, 13, 19, 21, 2013
"The Aspern Papers" April 12, 14, 17, 20, 28, 2013