Turandot. Berlin State Opera, December 20th 2008. Production: Doris Dörrie. Cast: Sylvie Valayre (Turandot), Frank Porretta (Calaf), Adriane Quieroz (Liu), Peter-Jürgen Schmidt (Altoum). Conductor: Andris Nelsons. Further information here.
German filmmaker Doris Dörrie, who previously created a hilarious Cosí fan tutte for the Berlin State Opera was invited back in 2003 with a production of Turandot, revived this season.
Doris Dörrie´s Turandot is a mix of a Japanese cartoon and Spiderman - complete with over sized puppies, pink scooters, brightly coloured rubber-suits and stage curtain depicting a tourist map of Beijing. Sit back and enjoy, but don´t think too much about it, she seems to say portraying Turandot as a hysterical Edward Scissor-hand female look-a-like. All is very colourful and looks great, though interpretatively we are on shallow water.
Of the singers, all were fine and none were great: Sylvie Valayre looks great as Turandot, though pushed to her limit, which also may be said of Frank Porretta. More disappointing was Adriane Queiroz, a simply not very appealing Líu.
The most interesting aspect of the performance was 30-year old Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons, making his debut at the Berlin State Opera. Rarely have I heard the orchestra play so well without Daniel Barenboim: Energetically, with continuous flow and myriads of details, without ever retorting to empty bravado. Excellent. If he is not a man of the future, I don´t know who is.
Sylvie Valayre: 3
Frank Porretta: 3
Adriane Queiroz: 2
Peter-Jürgen Schmidt: 3
Doris Dörries staging: 4
Andris Nelsons: 5
Overall impression: 3-4
Photos @ Monika Rittershaus from the Berlin State Opera website