'Turandot' encores at Palace Cineplex and Palace Multiplex
"[Nina Stemme] managed to render the grisly ice maiden surprisingly vulnerable... Her powerful, luxuriant voice retained its warmth throughout the evening, with blazing high notes that were never forced or shrill, even when projected over the massed ensembles of orchestra and chorus... The soprano, Anita Hartig, sang beautifully as the self-sacrificing Liu, her alluring voice plaintive and expressive. The rich-voiced bass-baritone Alexander Tsymbalyuk, rendered Timur, with dignity.
"Paolo Carignani conducted a lithe and detailed reading of Puccini's sumptuous score."
The New York Times Puccini's final opera, Turandot, which is one of the most spectacular productions in the Met repertory, encores this Sunday, February 7, at 11:30 a.m. at Palace Cineplex and Palace Multiplex. Swedish dramatic soprano Nina Stemme sings her first Met performances of the demanding title role of Puccini's Chinese ice princess, with Anita Hartig in her company role debut as the angelic slave girl Liu. Marco Berti sings Calaf, the suitor who risks his head for Turandot's hand, and Alexander Tsymbalyuk sings Timur. Paolo Carignani conducts Franco Zeffirelli's visually stunning 1987 production.
China, in ancient times. Outside the Imperial Palace a mandarin reads an edict to the crowd: any prince seeking to marry Princess Turandot must answer three riddles. If he fails, he will die. The most recent suitor, the Prince of Persia, is to be executed at the moon's rising. Among the onlookers are the slave girl Liu, her aged master, and the young Calaf, who recognises the old man as his long-lost father, Timur, vanquished King of Tartary. Only Liu has remained faithful to him, and when Calaf asks her why, she replies that once, long ago, Calaf smiled at her. The mob cries for blood but greets the rising moon with a sudden fearful silence.
When the Prince of Persia is led to his execution, the crowd calls upon the princess to spare him. Turandot appears and wordlessly orders the execution to proceed. Transfixed by the beauty of the unattainable princess, Calaf decides to win her - to the horror of Liu and Timur. Turandot's three ministers - Ping, Pang, and Pong - also try to discourage him, but Calaf is unmoved. He comforts Liu, then strikes the gong that announces a new suitor.
Tickets are on sale for The Met Opera's 2015-16 Season at the box office at Palace Cineplex and via the web at www.palaceamusement.com, with a Palace Card.
- The Metropolitan Opera