Send in the clones

Stefano Poda’s production of Turandot (he is also responsible for the sets, costumes and lighting) for Teatro Regio Torino, recorded in early 2018, is one of the most visually effective productions of this (or perhaps any opera) that I’ve seen.  I don’t know whether it makes “sense” (but I’m also not sure that any Turandot does) and, if it does, I doubt one would be able to unpack it in a single viewing because there’s a lot going on (but see comment at the end).

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Born to the anvil, not the hammer

Manuel de Falla’s La Vida Breve is often credited with being the first true Spanish opera.  It’s certainly one of very few works in that language one might encounter in an opera house.  It’s hard to see why it’s not performed more often.  It’s a dramatic story about the tragic love affair of a gtpsy girl and a wealthy young man and the music is a blend of verismo and flamenco.  The orchestration is quite exciting and the Spanish influenced vocal lines are very easy on the ear.  It really ought to have a rather wide appeal.

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