Magazine article Opera Canada

Turandot: Michael Hayes (Calaf) in the Edmonton Opera Production

Magazine article Opera Canada

Turandot: Michael Hayes (Calaf) in the Edmonton Opera Production

Article excerpt

Puccini's Turandot may be about the redemption of a heartless ice princess, but at the heart of the work is the dutiful Liu, who cares for the hero's decrepit father and makes the ultimate operatic sacrifice to save the prince she loves. And there was no doubt where the large Edmonton Opera audience's affections were on opening night. Sally Dibblee received a well-deserved, show-stopping ovation for her first-act love aria, "Signore, ascolta!" and also received the loudest applause at the end. The diminutive lyric soprano sang of Liu's love for Calaf with impressive technique and emotional force, revealing her character's desperation with a dynamic range that went from a dry, barely audible pinched sound that evoked her heartbreak to rhetorically powerful portamento surges and room-filling crescendos as she pleaded with Calaf to wise up.

Tenor Michael Hayes was consistently entertaining as the smitten Calaf. He more than managed to sustain interest in the character with a voice that reaches the highs with relative ease and can hit the back of the house without sounding dramatic at the expense of tone quality. Hayes made "Nessun dorma" his own, and the audience appreciated his performance. …

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