I have always viewed this as a tradgedy so this comic interpretationn was different-but not in keeping with the story or the text! Poor staging, amateur theatre and farce (Turandot's entorage emeging from a pantry/fridge) did nothing to compensate for overloud music and singing and a third rate cast with few exeptions.Not worth 10% of the cost - even for the laugh.
12 Nov 09
Sorry - but you three are off 'yer 'eads. Four stars for this drivel - get a grip. So ENO's job is to make opera 'entertaining' for you lot? Leave my brain at the stage door maybe... - Kundry
02 Nov 09
Rupert Goold's Turnadot is definitely not for the faint-hearted. All manner of bizarre things come out of the back doors of the restaurant set, including foxes, nuns, Elivis lookalikes, and a naked man! Remarkably, Goold manages to pull this psychedelic acid-trip off. The superb lighting and colourful costumes add a Carnaby Street glow and there are some nice touches like a Pagan King Emperor, plucked off the streets with bottle in hand. The carcasses dangling from the kitchen ceiling in Act III and the tortures imposed on Liù are completely over-the-top but it's certainly never dull. It's also very well-sung. I can just imagine the fury of the ROH audience and it is hard to imagine this production playing anywhere else but the Coliseum with its strong tradition of outlandish uber-camp productions of which this is probably the most kitsch ever but it's a guilty pleasure and hugely enjoyable if you are prepared to leave your inhibitions at the stage door. - DJ
19 Oct 09
Sometimes ify reviews lower your expectations and you come out pleasantly surprised……and so it was with the ENO’s Turandot. Rupert Goold’s ‘big idea’ is to set it in the Imperial Palace Chinese Restaurant where there appears to be a fancy dress party taking place. There is an extra (mute) character called ‘The Writer’ which appears to be Puccini himself (he is killed at the point where Puccini himself died whilst writing the opera). He steals his own ideas from his own recent production of Six Characters in Search of an Author; at times the characters seem to be telling him they don’t like the part they have been written. The critics found it gimmicky, but I found it intriguing (and the interval conversations interesting). No-one seems to have focused on the fact that the musical standards are exceptional – the orchestra and chorus make a terrific noise and the leads are very well cast. - Gareth James
18 Oct 09
I thought it rather marvellous - much better than seeing an anachronistic bunch of white people pretending to be chinese! The orchestra and the chorus where on absolutely top form and the singer of Liu magnificent.
Opera will die if the traditionalists cling to their power and exclude increasing numbers of people via language, cost and tedium. Well done ENO! - JJE
18 Oct 09
Dire. Risible in the 1st act (Emperor's Palace Restaurant populated by one of everything you can think of including 2 American police in uniform, a Chelsea pensioner,Hassidic jew, nun etc), unwatchable in the 2nd (old tramp as Emperor, nothing is said without a flick of a fan or toss of a head) and annoying in the 3rd (great conciliatory arias with invented extra character trying to get in through strangely locked service doors), the director could not rely on il maestro's mastery of drama and score nor the grandiosity of the lyrics so he makes sure that loads of things are happening all of the time. Marvellous if you don't like opera.La Turunda however was the best thing in it and the conducting / orchestra are magnificent. Director must be congratulated however in having only 3 Elvis lookalikes, pyrotechnics only occurring twice, Turandot not doing any cartwheels or swinging on trapeze, Calaf being older than his dad and no animals brought on stage. Had been to v good Chinese restaurant just before show, full of Chinese people. This one didn't have a single Chinese person in it. Well you know what they say... - kiburncat
17 Oct 09
Why do I get the impression that "the designer" has never been to the opera before? As for "unreasonable to blame Goold for some of the pretty awful performances", what does s/he think a director does??? Don't know what Cassox's problem is with "online" but s/he saw fit to revisit and leave another comment. - Anonymous
12 Oct 09
I submit another one... just for you 'the designer'
It's an online review site... you dont have to take anything i say seriously.. who cares.. it's an ONLINE reviewing site!
I hated the show, still do.. and i made myself see it again...
Really awfull show. - Cassox
11 Oct 09
Turandot is basically a cruel nightmare story. The main characters in the story, excepting Liu, are totally horrible and unredeemed. This production hightened the nightmarishness with its admittedly weird elements. Added to this is the use of 'The Writer' as a sort of add-on character presumably representing Puccini himself. As is often the case with Goold productions there are too many ideas being worked in and the tend to overwhelm and confuse one another. Whilst it is definitely interesting it doesn't quite come off. It problem with Turandot is that is has become 'the one with Nessun Dorma' and although it has some beautiful music and stunning arias it mustn't be forgotten that at its heart is a bleak, and horrible story. Interestingly, elsewhere Wozzeck was being performed - in many ways both these pieces present are dark and disturbing side of the human psyche. - Michael
10 Oct 09
I'm fairly disgusted by Cassox's obnoxious and over-personal (and poorly phrased!) account of turandot. Whilst there were obvious flaws in the production, the evening was vastly entertaining and Goold should be applauded at least for taking the defibrillators to a dying Opera Audience which needs a SERIOUS going over if it wants to continue seeing anything of remote interest and relevance in the near and distant future. Turandot is a violent, boisterous and fantastical Opera - Goold's (and Lindsay's and Buether's!!) vision fitted it well. Some of the execution was clumsy and garish but the energy, power and confidence was undeniable.
It also seems ill-informed and unresonable to blame Goold for some of the pretty awful performances too...is he an interesting and brave director or a scapegoat for all that is bad about the British Audience's distorted expectations? We are far to eager to tear down anything remotely foreign, daring or strange in this country.
- the designer
09 Oct 09
John Berry once again adds another Woefully inadequate production of a repertory piece to his ever-growing pyre - think Sally Potter's Carmen, the Irish Traviata, Jo Davies' 'Aida', if you must - but this probably deserves some kind of accolade for being the worst production of anything I've seen at the Coliseum. No direction of the singers, a complete mish-mash of ideas and rather badly sung and conducted. That this steaming pile of horse-shit has replaced Chris Alden's stylsih production is nothing short of scandalous. If anything should have been booed off the stage - and there were quite a few directed at Goold and his cohorts - then this is it. Dire. Dire. Dire. - Kundry
09 Oct 09
This is horrible.
Although i saw the open Dress rehearsal, it's doubtfull much will change, and concidering that the chorus do nothing... absolutly NOTHING, then it's unlikely that a new production will occour between monday and opening thursday.
As those interweb addicts say 'SPOILERS ALERT'...
Goold's concept (why does there have to be one??!!??) is that Puccini watches the whole production... which happens in a Chinese resteaurant, where Prince Calaf seems to fall in love with an ice statue of 'Britaina' with a small child sitting on it, and nobody really knows whats going on... This is followed by Ping/Pong/Pang taking out the rubbish in act 2.1, then some tramp becoming the emporer in act 2.2, then some hilarious 'Edina Monsoon' from 'ab fab' kitchen taking centre stage in Act 3, in which Turandot kills the 'Puccini' and then everyone stands about like a lemon singing out front for the rest of the opera... Awfull
Now then boys and girls, if you didn't know, Puccini didn't finish composing 'Turandot' and the point at which the on-stage Puccini dies, is the point where he started
de-composing (ha ha)... I have heard that Goold wanted to stop the opera here, but Riccordi (the music publisher) didn't want that to happen. This is possibly the most interesting idea in the WHOLE show, however... unfortuantly it wasn't actualised so we'll never know if this idea was genius..
This production goes a long way to show us all that Goold still cannot direct and he's all style over substance.. I found myself drawn in at the onset of each scene, thinking i was wrong to judge him and that actualy i should give it a chance. However as it went on it was obvious that none of the singers had an ounce of direction scattered on them and they may-as-well be following and entrace and exit plot. Subseqently they're all terrible (apart from Lui, who polished a turd of a part to come up .. err... Gold!!).
I watched the show with many many adoring people who loved the show, loved the speactacle of it all... but as a person used to that spectacle (ie - the west end musical one) seeing it in ENO wasn't a surprise....
My biggest gripe was that there was no story... Goould has prooved that he cant tell a a story (See 6 Characters in search of an author, Time and the Conways, macbeth.. etc, etc) in fact that he actively avoids telling one like it's a bad thing to even want to consider... Odd .... for a director... anyhow.. that said... musically it was bad (naughty Ed Gardiner for that!!! More chorus work please!!!!), the choreography was awfull (like it had been done on the day of the show by a work experience student).. leaving only some of the costumes for merit, but actualy, it doesn't matter, it was all f*****g awfull... Even Jonathan Kent's ROH version of 'Tosca' is better than this!!!! - Cassox
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