This was one of the more gorgeous productions the Florentine has mounted of late, with a lot obviously invested in costumes, particularly for the chorus, who represented citizens, soldiers, priests, and gravediggers at various times, with appropriate costume changes. Said chorus sounded very good, which compensated for their stage direction which had them frequently looking like a rabble getting on and off the rather crowded stage. The crowding was in turn due to the rather handsome multi-level set pieces, which represented a square in Peking and the terraces overlooking it.
Tutandot was sung by Lise Lindstrom, who is currently one of the foremost interpreters of the role. She has a very powerful voice, being able to make herself heard over the full orchestra, chorus, and cast, but also a very pure tone. Her ramrod straight posture and forceful gestures reinforced the character of a spoiled but powerful princess.
She was well matched by Renzo Zulian as the willful Calaf. His rendition of the iconic aria, "Nessun Dorma" won general applause.
The supporting cast members, notably Rena Harms as Liu, Peter Volpe as Timur, and David Karvitz, Frank Kelley, and Mattew Richardson, as ministers Ping, Pang, and Pong.
Maestro Joseph Resigno was at the podium and did his usual fine job conducting a large orchestra.
This is one of those operas where the imagery, the singing, and the music all need to be spectacular, and the Florentine delivered.
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