Turandot Project

The Turandot Project

Director: Alan Miller, Allan Miller

Cast: Alan Miller, Allan Miller

     
 
In 1997, orchestra leader Zubin Mehta, long noted for his fondness for unusual and challenging projects, had an idea to stage a new version of Puccini's opera Turandot. While the opera is set in China during the Ming Dynasty, Mehta's desire was to stage a version that relied less on outmoded stereotypes and more on the realities of life in China during that

Overview

In 1997, orchestra leader Zubin Mehta, long noted for his fondness for unusual and challenging projects, had an idea to stage a new version of Puccini's opera Turandot. While the opera is set in China during the Ming Dynasty, Mehta's desire was to stage a version that relied less on outmoded stereotypes and more on the realities of life in China during that period. Working with Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, Mehta staged an acclaimed new production of Turandot in Italy. A year later, Mehta and Yimou began an even more ambitious plan -- to bring their Turandot to China, where it would be performed with a massive cast of Italian and Chinese performers on an outdoor stage at the fabled Forbidden City. In The Turandot Project, documentary filmmaker Alan Miller captures the long and often difficult process by which Puccini's opera was brought back to the land that inspired it -- and the considerable culture shock both the Italian and Chinese artists suffered along the way. The Turandot Project was shown at the 2000 Toronto Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
A mostly by-the-numbers, but still fascinating look at the mounting of a monumental, extremely costly production of the Puccini opera Turandot by famed Asian filmmaker Zhang Yimou, The Turandot Project is an intimate backstage documentary that offers an intriguing glimpse at the goings-on of the opera, a subject rarely ever touched by modern filmmakers. The feature isn't as rousing or spirit-lifting as Allan Miller's 1997 film Small Wonders (later remade as Wes Craven's Music of the Heart) and doesn't delve deeply enough into some of the more hot-button issues involved in staging live theater, but it more than adequately displays the passion behind such a project. Most interesting are its findings about the interpretation of opera across cultural boundaries and how equally headache-inducing and triumphant managing such a lavish production can be. The film is of especially high note to enthusiasts and fans of director Yimou, who offers both the headaches and the triumphs, but the feature is well-made and will appeal to a wide variety of individuals.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/28/2002
UPC:
0795975102032
Original Release:
2000
Rating:
NR
Source:
Zeitgeist Films
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[stereo]
Time:
1:24:00
Sales rank:
64,386

Special Features

Additional rehersal footage; Director and cast biographies; Theatrical trailers

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Zubin Mehta and Zhang Yimou [3:37]
2. The Beginning: Florence [3:40]
3. Blood and Barbarism [5:33]
4. Chinese Authenticity [3:30]
5. Operatic Suicide [5:02]
6. One Year Later: Beijing [5:43]
7. Barbara Hendricks and Zhang Yalun [4:24]
8. Sound and Staging [9:24]
9. The Pavilions [4:56]
10. Cultural Significance [3:59]
11. A Trio of Turandots [5:10]
12. Lighting and Gestures [8:28]
13. Public Dress Rehearsal [5:17]
14. Special Preview [4:08]
15. Gala Opening [5:57]
16. Road to Triumph [5:11]

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