Turandot shines in a season of passionate operas
by John Soltys
In the flamboyant tradition of Italian opera, Puccini's Turandot, playing at the Seattle Opera through Nov. 2, is a raucus affair with executions, torture, and jokes from three advisors to the Emperor named Ping, Pang, and Pong.
Everything, from the elaborate costuming (which included the stagehands, who swept up fake snow in front of the curtains) to the hiring of female bodybuilders from local gyms to play the palace guards, was designed to elicit an emotional response from the audience; and it worked.
The opera tells the story of a beautiful princess who hates men and the unfortunate princes seeking her hand, who are beheaded when they fail to answer her three riddles. Of course, one finally does succeed, and the princess finds love in the stranger's arms.
Turandot is full of nearly overwelming crowd scenes in which the music spills off the stage in great waves, as well as several beautifully executed solo performances.
For ticket information, call 389-7676.