Puccini: Turandot (2-CD) – Sondra Radvanovsky, Jonas Kaufmann

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Item: 5054197406591


Puccini: Turandot (2-CD) – Sondra Radvanovsky, Jonas Kaufmann

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Artists: Sondra Radvanovsky, Jonas Kaufmann, 
Conductor: Antonio Pappano
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Warner Bros. UK
Release Date: February 3, 2023

This recording of Turandot, Puccini’s spectacular final opera, marks several important firsts. Before the recording sessions in Rome in March 2022, Sir Antonio Pappano had never conducted Turandot; and neither Sondra Radvanovsky, who takes the soaring title role, nor Jonas Kaufmann as Turandot’s suitor, Calaf – who sings “Nessun dorma” – had previously performed the opera. It is also the first studio recording of Turandot to include the entire, crucial final scene as completed by Franco Alfano after Puccini’s death in 1925. 

Radvanovsky and Kaufmann are joined by Ermonela Jaho as the slave Liù, Michele Pertusi as King Timur, and Michael Spyres – a star tenor in a character role – as the Emperor of China. Pappano conducts the forces of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. 

The success of the entire project was confirmed by a public concert performance, greeted with a standing ovation, that took place a few days after recording had been completed. “Stunningly beautiful,” was the view of Opera magazine. “Pappano brings out the dramaturgical sense of every moment of the score... The singing was outstanding.” 

Il Corriere della Sera wrote, “First and foremost, this Turandot will be remembered [for] Antonio Pappano’s absolutely inspired achievement... It really felt like discovering a new Turandot.”

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World premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 1926.

Puccini’s final opera is an epic fairy tale set in a China of legend, loosely based on a play by 18th-century Italian dramatist Carlo Gozzi.

Featuring a most unusual score with an astounding and innovative use of chorus and orchestra, it is still recognizably Puccini, bursting with instantly appealing melody. The unenviable task of completing the opera’s final scene upon Puccini’s sudden death was left to the composer Franco Alfano. Conductor Arturo Toscanini oversaw Alfano’s contribution and led the world premiere.


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