REVIEW: Turandot


Closing out the Minnesota Opera’s 50th Anniversary season is a virtuosic performance of Turandot. To meet the demand of audiences eager to hear this famous Puccini opera in all of its glory, the directors have cast two performers for each of the three leading roles.  For the social media preview night, the leads were sung by Irina Rindzuner, Adam Laurence Herskowitz, and Kelly Kaduce and they were each terrific.  I was particularly impressed with the enormous cast, which features at least 60 performers in rich, elaborate costumes.  The visuals of this opera are stunning–from the floor caked with dried blood, to the elegant symmetry of movements when the full cast is on stage–I was frequently in total awe of what I was watching unfold on stage. The promotional photos barely scratch the surface. It is difficult to identify one particular scene that was the most impressive, but the eye-catching opening scene is not to be missed.

Of course, what people are really there for is the beautiful orchestration and vocal acrobatics of Puccini’s final opera, and of course, Nessun Dorma. This show-stopping aria is one of the most famous in all of opera, and for good reason.  You’ll be humming it in the shower for weeks.  Herskowitz does it quite well.  Just watch the video above and imagine being engulfed by this sound.  It’s always difficult to describe performances, as the preview night is usually the last dress rehearsal and the performers are sometimes holding back, but if he was, I couldn’t tell.  Either way, audiences will be blown away and left wanting more.  I have no doubt that Scott Piper’s performance will be equally sensational.

I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Turandot for months.  Whenever I told people about it who were unfamiliar with this opera, mentioning Luciano Pavarotti’s World Cup performance was usually enough to see them make the connection. If you still don’t know, check out this video. This opera is simply not to be missed.

Turandot is at The Ordway April 13-21, 2013.  Tickets start at $20.