Walking up the grand stairs of the Opera House on a sleepless night of rapturous sonority, one could have the impression of ascending into heavenly clouds from some ancient pyramid of the Imperial Qin Dynasty. Such was the profound beauty of Opera Australia’s production of Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot.
In the role of the fierce and brutal princess Turandot, American soprano Lise Lindstrom astonished the audience with her entrance aria – In questa reggia (“In this palace”).
South Korean tenor Yonghoon Lee, as Calaf, brought the house down roaring after his aria – Nessun dorma (“None shall sleep”). He surely tamed the wildest of beasts with his skilled performance, range and sensitivity.
The opera would not have been the same without the splendour of Korean soprano Hyeseoung Kwon, who starred as the slave girl Liù. Her loyalty towards Calaf is heart-wrenching, and was portrayed with an expressive and faultless vocal technique.
Opera Australia certainly went ‘all out’ with this flawless production. The phenomenal chorus, the immaculate costumes and the elaborate stage design bedazzled the audience.
Graeme Murphy’s choreography and directorship of Turandot forever lives on, and fosters inspiration and wonder together with the brilliant Opera Australia Chorus, Opera Australia Children’s Chorus and The Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. (PU)
Until Aug 28. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. $44-$330+b.f. Tickets & info: sydneyoperahouse.com
By Peter Urquhart