I was a bit excited about Turandot as I had liked Nessum Dorma and the story of Turandot for a long time (love wins!). Plus the promotional images I had seen was so intricate and dramatic -
It's still annoying to keep alternating my eyes between the stage and the translation projected above it, but the storyline is quite gripping (compared to the only other opera I'd seen, La Traviata) and the set so lovely I couldn't pick one to focus on.
Usually I think people might get a bit bored and fidgety at the opera but during the second act where Calaf was trying to guess Turandot's 3 riddles you can feel the tension in the audience. None of the answers made any sense, but then the entire story didn't make sense if you want to get logical. Does Hope appear each night and dies each dawn? Why? I thought it would be the other way around.
|Ping, Pang and Pong|
The music was okay, apart from Nessum Dorma which is of course awesome. Ping, Pang and Pong made me laugh. (Opera can be funny!) It was quite amusing hearing 茉莉花，a Chinese children's song to me, in an opera context. Puccini used it as the princess' theme.
Admittedly, I think I like Turandot slightly less after I watched the entire performance, because of how stupid the whole thing is. I know that the essence of opera is in OTT suffering, and that Turandot is actually not that far away from reality, but still.. falling in love just because a woman is beautiful? Betraying all for a woman?
Still, Turandot is quite engaging - the set was very creative (although the audio was slightly worse off in order for the visuals to work in the case of the Emperor). But then people have said that the audio in Sydney Opera House isn't the best.
I would watch it again (but Dan wouldn't).