Posts Tagged ‘opera’

I love the muppets. I grew up watching Sesame Street and a host of other TV shows. But, the magical thing about Sesame Street (or the muppets) is that I still enjoy watching it now, even though I’m all of 24 years! Other TV shows I watched as a kid (Teenage mutant ninja turtles or Chipmunks) just don’t bring about the same levels of enjoyment as it did then.

Not so for the muppets. I love them as much as I ever did. I think its the music.

Andrea Bocelli and Elmo – Simply adorable!

So I went to watch the Turandot yesterday as part of my Music East and West module. I must admit that opera and classical music isn’t quite my thing, I much prefer contemporary music like jazz, rock, pop etc. However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying the show.

To the uninitiated, Turandot is set in China and the story follows a young man, Calaf, who wants to marry the beautiful, drop-dead gorgeous princess Turandot (from where I was sitting in the box seats, she didn’t look THAT beautiful). The Princess, however, is one of those feminist types who doesn’t want to be ‘owned’ by any man. Anyone who wants to marry the princess must answer her riddles or face the chopping block, the princess has already amassed a fine collection of heads from foolish suitors. Of course Calaf answers the riddles and gets the girl in the end.

As I was watching Turandot however, it struck me how the opera obviously mistakes love for lust, much like the modern gansta hip hop of today. Calaf, on seeing the princess, goes all crazy and starts singing about her beautiful face, her fragrance that fills the air or some other body part too awesome to behold. Modern rappers would be rapping all about ‘lovely lady lumps’ and many other body parts that were invented only after Turandot was written I’m sure.

Gangsta rap is also known to ocassionally have some amazingly cheesy lyrics that sound like they were put in just to make sure the song could be long enough (Rihanna and her umbrella comes to mind here). Turandot was written almost a century ago, so cheesy lyrics are excusable I guess. It’s just that there were many times where I just wished for the show to just move on.

All in all, I think Turandot is just great. In no small part due to their rendition of the Nessun Dorma. What’s that you ask? Well, I’m not much of an opera guy, but I would go so far as to say it’s a kick ass type song where the singer totally goes and shows off.

You can watch the late Pavarotti’s version below:

For more information on Turandot, you can go here