Monday, November 21, 2011

David Hockney's "Turandot" Gets Invigorated in San Francisco

Foster as Puccini's Icy Princess
"Making her company debut in the title role, soprano Susan Foster revealed a powerful and intermittently well-controlled instrument, one that carried effortlessly and with steely intensity above the clamor of the orchestra and rang out clearly in more exposed passages. Foster had a harder time locating the lyrical vein in this role, and the potency of her singing often shaded into stridency; her account of the opening 'In questa reggia' sounded blunt and lurid. But she came into her own nicely in Act 3, managing Turandot's improbable emotional turnaround with flair. Tenor Walter Fraccaro's performance as Calaf also improved as the evening progressed, though he had further to go. Throughout Act 1, Fraccaro's singing - a few well-placed, clarion high notes aside - was tonally ragged and beset
Crocetto as Liù
by intonation problems. But the Act 2 Riddle Scene had a sturdy heft to it, and although his 'Nessun dorma' at the start of Act 3 sounded stiff and ill tuned, his performance flourished from there on. Christian Van Horn was a solid, if uninspiring, Timur. The rest of the performances evoke happy memories of opening night. Soprano Leah Crocetto, an Adler Fellow, remains a brilliant Liù, vocally lustrous and dramatically assured, and the Opera Chorus sang superbly throughout." [Source]

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