Excellent effort from San Francisco opera!
J. Anderson | Monterey, CA USA | 08/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This interesting version of Turandot is worthy on a number of accounts. To hear Montserrat Caballe step afield of her essentially lyric bel canto gifts to essay the role of Turandot is unusual in itself. That she would acquit herself with exquisite intelligence and characteristic lack of vocal pretense is almost a given, but the depth of her interpretation, if not surprising, is joyously rewarding. Her treatment of 'In questia reggia' will not please everyone, but several listenings begin to reveal a remarkably cohesive musical view which, while distinctly marked with Caballe's musical presence, unsheathes a multi-dimensional Turandot, something not afforded us by Marton, or certainly Nilsson, whose forays into these areas grew more frantic and embarassing the farther they drifted from Bayreuth. However, it is the magnificent singing of Leona Mitchell that makes this edition worth the price of admission. Such singing! It's clear that Ms. Mitchell, underappreciated in her own country, besides excelling in Puccini's operas generally (her Butterfly is a miracle!), is inspired to be singing Liu with one of the legendary interpreters of that role (Caballe). Her 'Signore ascolta' stands tall next to every other conceivable version, even Caballe's justifiably legendary interpretation. Pavarotti brings the sunshine with him, as usual. Chailly makes the most of the disappointingly modest artistic resources of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, though the chorus sings splendidly. Live opera recordings are only rarely the best way to listen to an opera, for either veteran or neophyte, but this recording is an exception. And Leona Mitchell, whose exposition of the singing art reflects its sublime light even on the genius of her towering colleagues Caballe and Pavarotti, quickly becomes a thirst difficult to quench! Repeated listenings bring immense delight!"
GNM | 02/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"She isn't Callas, but this is the second best Turandot to buy.(after Callas') This is not your usual 'evil' Turandot, but a tormented, somewhat 'ill' one. Caballe in 'In Questa Reggia' sounds as though she is talking in a delirium and still stays as magnificent as always. I only wish she had recorded this opera a bit earlier. The high notes wouldn't've sounded so strained if she had done it."
A Very Good TURANDOT
G. Dowling | St. Louis, MO, USA | 02/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At this very favorable price, give this a try. Everything about it is first-rate, particularly Caballe who really has no problem with the tessitura here and who provides a Turandot with more hidden warmth at first than we are used to (with Nilsson, for instance). The sound is fine too."