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Bill White
Fanfare, July 2013

PUCCINI, G.: Turandot (Opera Australia, 2012) OPOZ56034CD
PUCCINI, G.: Turandot (Opera Australia, 2012) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) OPOZ56033BD

Past masters of operatic spectacle…have taken numerous opportunities to stage this popular work and several good ones have been caught on DVD as well, but none better than this Opera Australia production from Melbourne…

…there are lavish oriental costumes…there are impressive stage effects…but it is the marvelous coordinated movement of dancers, chorus, and principal singers, and the innovative colorful dancing that consistently catch the eye.

All the activity does slow long enough to tell the story, and the singers are strong as well. Opera Australia…gives us American dramatic soprano Susan Foster, who brings a bit more warmth and musicality to the ice princess than is usually heard. Foster provides plenty of heft to sing over Puccini’s often dense score…Rosario La Spina… turns in a strong vocal performance as the prince, Calaf, and is dramatically an asset as well for an opera company…Korean lyric soprano Hye Seoung Kwon tugs at our heartstrings in the role of the steadfast servant girl, Liù…The Opera Australia chorus is quite marvelous in this production; they are the real stars of the show, along with director Murphy, who should be given full credit for this delightful creation.

…Opera Australia’s production values are first-class with handsome booklets in both sets and subtitles in several languages…snap this one up on Blu-ray; you will be happy you did. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review

Lawrence Devoe, March 2013

This is one of the biggest operas to stage in the standard repertoire and, in this respect, Opera Australia does not disappoint. The musical direction under the baton of Andrea Licata, a veteran of this repertoire, is well paced. The cast consists of mostly local singers who are well prepared and deliver very satisfying performances.

Colors are spectacular and close-up detail…is superb. The images are palpable and as good as it gets in the BD world.

The ambience and sense of the venues is outstanding with crystal clear production of the voices.

…this Turandot comes across on the small screen as well as any that I have seen. It has integrity and honesty, great visuals and superb sound recording. Happy to report that tenor La Spina, easily the burliest Calaf that I have yet seen, delivers the goods and sends the requisite shivers down the spine. In the Blu-ray world, there are two current competitors…Not only can this Australian one hold its own, but in many respects, presents a refreshing take on this 20th century masterpiece…this is a BD that I can recommend with unqualified enthusiasm. © 2013 Read complete review

Barry Forshaw
Classical CD Choice, February 2013

Puccini’s final masterpiece has been well-served on DVD, and here is an impressive, visually sumptuous new Blu-ray issue of the opera…to rival previous versions, with a performance that excels in both musical and dramaturgical values, but also takes full advantage of the pinprick sharp picture (and audio) quality of the Blu-ray medium. Rosario la Spina…sings with authority, while Susan Foster is an incandescent Principessa. © 2013 Classical CD Choice Read complete review

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