As part of my ongoing effort to get to know the work of our Canadian peer companies I travelled to Ottawa yesterday afternoon to see Opera Lyra's production of Puccini's Turandot. Sitting in the performance I realized how long it had been since I had last seen the piece, probably the Met's magnificent Zeffirelli production back in 2005. Of all of Puccini's operas, I've always had a weak spot for two: La Bohème and Turandot, mostly because of Luciano Pavarotti and his unbeatable recordings with Mirella Freni, conducted by Herbert von Karajan (Bohème) and Joan Sutherland with Montserrat Caballé, conducted by Zubin Mehta (Turandot). The sheer pleasure of singing in these recordings always takes my breath away and if you don't know them I recommend them highly.
Opera Lyra had been able to hire a very impressive lead couple for their production. Lori Philipps sang a powerful Turandot and Richard Margison a terrific Calaf, with perfect style, great diction and thrilling high notes. I am glad he will be with the COC for Ariadne auf Naxos later this season.
On a different matter, if you're looking for something good to read try to find a copy of Jonathan Frantzen's latest novel Freedom. I've been living with it for a few days now and have increasing difficulties putting it down to do something else or even get some sleep. Exactly what you want from a great book.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (0) / permalink
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