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Another soprano tackling an iconic role is Daniela Dessí as Turandot, this time filmed in Genoa (2012). Giuliano Montaldo’s production is business as usual, vaguely Chinese – a land where hair in a bun, a snazzy dressing gown and a pair of Uggs will see you through any sartorial eventuality. Donato Renzetti steers his forces capably: the orchestra is fine but the chorus sounds appalling, like a singsong in an old people’s home. Dessí has a valiant stab at the title role but is completely over-parted, so although she has the basic notes she doesn’t string them together with much confidence; neither does she have the necessary thrust above the stave to engender any thrills. Mario Malagnini sings Calaf with an attractive open tone, wisely eschews the higher variants, and looks completely vacant. He claims his bride with the excitement of a man taking the stage to be crowned Accountant of the Year. Fortunately the Liù, Roberta Canzian, shines like a beacon amidst the gloom. Her soprano has a lovely spin to it, she manages all Puccini’s vocal effects with grace and she looks as though she’d like to act if only she could find someone to work with.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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