The Daily Telegraph – Turandot (Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour)
Turandot (Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour) on The Daily Telegraph - 30.03.2016
Visual thrills, superb singing and great storytelling make Turandot a true Sydney Harbour spectacle
SPECTACLE is a prerequisite for Opera Australia’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour — and Turandot doesn’t disappoint, offering plenty of visual thrills without resorting to tacky glitziness. Nor does it ever feel that the stage is full of colour and movement just for the sake of it.
With Dragana Radakovic as Turandot and Riccardo Massi as Calaf, the production is also blessed with principal singers who are able to command the huge space with their magnetic presence and powerhouse vocals.
Set in a fantasy China, Puccini’s final, unfinished opera (completed after his death) tells a barbaric tale. Turandot, the ice-cold princess, demands that her suitors are beheaded if they fail to answer three riddles. But foreign prince Calaf is determined to try his hand nonetheless.
The score includes many glorious melodies (some of which draw on Chinese tunes) including the famous aria Nessun dorma. Given the one-dimensional stereotyping of Asian women in Turandot and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Chinese-born New York-based director Chen Shi-Zheng has knocked back many offers to direct both operas, but allowed himself to be talked into it now by OA artistic director Lyndon Terracini...