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Puccini: Turandot

This recording of Turandot, Puccini’s spectacular final opera marks a number of important firsts. Before the recording sessions in Rome in March 2022, Sir Antonio Pappano had never conducted Turandot; neither Sondra Radvanovsky, who takes soaring title role, nor Jonas Kaufmann as Turandot’s suitor, Calaf – who sings ‘Nessun dorma’ – had previously performed the opera. It is also the first studio recording of Turandot to include the entire, crucial final scene as completed after Puccini’s death in 1925 by Franco Alfano. Radvanovsky and Kaufmann are joined by Ermonela Jaho as the slave Liù, Michele Pertusi as King Timur and Michael Spyres – a star tenor in a character role – as the Emperor of China. Pappano conducts the forces of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. The success of the entire project was confirmed by a public concert performance, greeted with a standing ovation, that took place a few days after recording had been completed: “Stunningly beautiful,” was the view of Opera magazine, “Pappano brings out the dramaturgical sense of every moment of the score …The singing was outstanding.” Il Corriere della Sera wrote that “First and foremost, this Turandot will be remembered [for] Antonio Pappano’s absolutely inspired achievement … It really felt like discovering a new Turandot.”

"Sondra Radvanovsky has steel in her soprano for the titular princess, eager to chop off her suitors’ heads if they can’t answer her riddles. But there’s a hint of something else from her first appearance, when her imperious hauteur admits softness at the recollection of her wronged ancestor."

The Guardian