by G. Puccini

Turandot debut 

The Italian tenor Terranova makes an impressive role debut as Calaf, bringing a sense of confidence, competence and ease to his first performance of the challenging part. There’s a fittingly straight-forward, unflappable sense of surety to his performance of the third act’s home run aria “Nessun Dorma.”


Nessun Dorma ...That beautiful composition is from this very opera and the great Gianluca Terranova does it equal justice as Luciano Pavarotti.


As is frequently the case with Atlanta Opera, this cast was strong as an overall ensemble, but Terranova and Kaduce came across as the stars of the show.

BY -Daniel Vasquez

Returning to Atlanta for his second assignment in the role of the unknown prince Calaf (the first in his career,) tenor Gianluca Terranova’s casting inspired some initial trepidation upon its announcement earlier in the season. Many recalled the tenor’s radiant Rodolfo in 2015’s production of Puccini’s La Boheme, an impersonation made quite memorable by way of his warm and beautiful Italianate voice. The role of Calaf, however, is a heftier beast, and concern for the tenor’s vocal stamina and constitution against this mighty assignment naturally ensued. As heard on the opening night presentation, he dispelled all misgivings by unleashing a brawny, bronze hued lyrico spinto tenor that ardently filled the phrases of Calaf’s music with swagger and bravado. The whole of the lower to the upper register is produced through a healthy and quick vibrato, and responsive at most of the dynamic markings, and safe the lack of a trumpety squillo at the extreme top fortissimo, he often recalled the Italian voices of happier decades, and not just in voice but also in mannerism. When given the opportunity, he willingly indulged in the type of excesses designed to earn the public’s approval, and during the final cry of Turandot in act one, and in particular act two’s defiant “no, no, principessa altera” he held unto each high note well past the point of decency and was in turn fully rewarded for it by the enthusiastic audience.
That’s not to say that his Calaf was merely bombastic. His first act aria, “Non piangere, Liu,” was shaped with meticulous and thoughtful care, the request to Liu to look after Timur a heartfelt supplication for once. The opera’s raison d’etre, the universally admired “Nessun dorma” was delivered with a firm, rollicking tone, clear diction and poetic phrasing (the punctuated “no, no, sulla tua bocca lo diro” a fine personal touch) and it brought down the house. To Mr. Terranova’s credit, his instrument did not wilt after the money aria was conquered (as so many have in the past,) and the final duet with the princess found him in solid vocal and interpretive form. This solid performance bodes well for Mr. Terranova as he looks to add the heavier roles in the repertoire to his resume, and if he chooses to test them out in our city, it may bode well for the Atlanta Opera as well.

Photo: Jeff Roffman