Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lise Lindstrom shines as Turandot

Meet Lise Lindstrom, the American dramatic soprano whose voice lit up that old crowd-pleaser production of a Turandot (directed by Andrei Serban) in her house debut at Covent Garden yesterday. Here's my review for The Independent.

Many plaudits too to Eri Nakamura, the fabulous Liu, and in the pit, Henrik Nanasi from Hungary, who like Lindstrom was making his debut with the Royal Opera.

But I'm dreaming of a really good, up to date, best-of-Regietheater Turandot - one that goes more than costume-deep. Where is Calixto Bieito when you need him? (Actually, we know exactly where he is: down the road at ENO preparing Fidelio...).

We want a bit of psychology here, a bit of believable drama. What drives Calaf to become obsessed with Turandot? How does he really wake her up from ice-maidendom? How is Liu's love divided between Calaf and his father, and what does that say about their relationship? Why is Calaf's name so secret? This is a story about sexual obsession, which isn't pretty, but can be glorious if handled well (in staging terms, that is). And how about this: supposing Liu is actually Calaf's mother? Just think about it.