Cura manages to find the true breadth of this opera.
Renaissance man José Cura was at once star tenor, director and designer of the show, Cura’s best ideas came in his treatment of Ping, Pang and Pong—a trio of characters who often irritate rather than charm. He treated them as three principal characters of the commedia dell’arte, Pantalone, Arlecchino and Dr Balanzone, before dressing up in their official Chinese costumes for the riddles. This brought a darker brooding quality to the trio…
José Cura once again not only proves his versatile talents by not only shining as a singer in Puccini´s Turandot, but also as a director with a convincing concept that refrains of Alfanos finishing of the opera.
A production blessed by a stageful of superlative singers on which José Cura - after a career spanning 30 years - appears like a sacred and mythological element, matching the legend that precedes him.
More than merely slavish illustration, José Cura succeeds in recovering the “Turandot tone” so unique to Puccini’s career and so difficult to define: that of an epic choral work in which China unfolds in all its magical sensuality but also its cruelty. At the same time, the kitsch—a pitfall so common when it comes to Asia—is avoided by thorough work on lighting and costumes. The ingenious way in which the children’s choir is integrated into the action deserves to be highlighted.
Faithful servant of Puccini, José Cura was here in more than one role. Indeed, although the Argentinean is known for his operas, perhaps some are unaware that he composes, conducts, and for the last ten years has been staging operas. He does so with seriousness and intelligence.