Magazine article Gramophone

Puccini

Magazine article Gramophone

Puccini

Article excerpt

Puccini [DVD]

Turandot (compl Hao Weiya)

Sun Xulwei sop             Turandot
Dal Yuqiang ten               Calaf
Yao Hong sop                    Liu
Liu Songhu tor                 Ping
LI Xiang bar                   Pang
Chen Yong fen                  Pong
Tian Haojiang bass             Timur
Liu Nalql ten         Emperor Altoum

Chorus and Orchestra of the China National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing / Daniel Oren

Stage director Chen Xinyi

Video director Tiziano Mancini

Accentus (F) [DVD] ACC20338 (127' * NTSC * 16:9 * DTS5.1 & PCM stereo * 9 * s)

Recorded live. October 2013

Mozart [DVD]

Le nozze di Figaro

Li Ao bass-bar                      Figaro
Huang Ying sop                     Susanna
Zhou Zhengzhong bar         Count Almaviva
Yu Guanqun sop           Countess Almaviva
Xu Lei sop                       Cherubino
Zhang Zhuomez                   Marcellina
Guan Zhijing bass                  Bartolo
Li Xiang ten                   Don Basillo
Liang Yufengfen                 Don Curzio
Zhao Ming bass                     Antonio
Li Xintong sop                   Barbarina

Chorus and Orchestra of the China National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing / Lu Jia

Stage director Sose Luis Castro

Video director Hanning Kasten

Accentus (F) (2) [DVD] ACC20307

(177' * NTSC * 16:9 * DTS5.1 & PCM stereo * O * s)

Recorded live, January 2014

There has to be a certain fascination in seeing Puccini's Turandot performed by an all-Chinese cast in Beijing. Chen Xinyi's production gives an insight into the state of opera in China, on one of a pair of DVD releases from the China National Centre for the Performing Arts.

A massive set is framed by giant crouching stone lions, replaced by dragons in Act 2's scarlet palace. It's the sort of thing you'd be happy to encounter in the Verona Arena, with lots of dancers and acrobats and an enormous chorus. Up close, there are problems: an executioner's knife that doesn't look as if it could cut butter, and Calaf striking a gong that doesn't budge an inch.

Daniel Oren conducts an exciting account, but the vocal performances are mixed. Liu, vibrato-laden and devoid of consonants, should probably be singing Turandot. …

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