Franco Zeffirelli’s magnificent staging of Puccini's final opera, captured here in High Definition Widescreen, is one of the most opulent of all Met productions. A fairy-tale set in a mythical China, the opera tells of the icy Princess Turandot, whose fatal riddles test princes who seek her hand in marriage. Maria Guleghina takes the demanding title role and Marcello Giordani is Calàf, the unknown prince. Young Russian soprano Marina Poplavskaya and veteran American bass-baritone Samuel Ramey co-star. Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons makes his Met debut conducting Puccini's great score which includes the best-loved of all tenor arias - Nessun dorma.
This is an excellent production of Turandot from Valencia, Spain and stands second to the 1988 Met version with Marton, Domingo, and Mitchell which is my all time favorite! Maria acts and sings the title role beautifully along with Berti who pretty much just stands and sings but has a pleasing voice. The singer that portrays Liu is fine but not up to Mitchell's version at the Met. The sets and costumes are terrific. However, to me, the best was the chorus and orchestra, led by one of my favorite conductors, Zubin Mehta. Truly outstanding beautiful sound! If you love this opera you really must have this DVD as it may be awhile before the Met issues this season's production on DVD. I recommend it as a beautifully performed Turandot!
As Turandots go, this is an eminently likable and satisfying rendition. It is certainly a recording that is buoyed by the expert performances of the singers, all of whom are perfectly cast and who rise to the occasion to pull off Puccini's most difficult and most intoxicating opera.Of course, there is no opera without the ice princess herself, and I greatly enjoyed Montserrat Caballe's performance
Turandot, Puccini's last opera, contains some of the most glorious music that he composed. And this performance does complete justice to the music. It is as close to a perfect performance that is possible. Dame Joan Sutherland, who never performed the role on stage, is as cold as ice as the man-hating princess until Calaf wins her heart. At that moment she transforms into a warm hearted lover.