Straddling Pucciniís China, From Smaller Roles to Large Spectacle

By ANNE MIDGETTE [NY Times, 3 April 2007]
First-time operagoers and long-term fans are drawn to different aspects of opera. First-timers may be pulled in by the excitement of the event: the big music, the spectacle. And in these respects, the Metropolitan Operaís ìTurandot,î which returned on Friday night, certainly passes muster. Franco Zeffirelliís production delivers a lot of bang (scenery, costumes, number of bodies on stage) for the buck, and in the hands of the ever-impressive conductor Fabio Luisi, the orchestra and the chorus sounded great. And Pucciniís music is pretty hot.