The man who took Turandot to China

The accomplished Italian opera director Paolo Trevisi, head of the Arena di Verona from 1975 to 1982, has died of lung cancer at the age of 74 in his home town, Treviso.

In 1989 he took a huge initiative in the cultural thaw by creating Puccini’s Chinese opera in Beijing.

Away from Verona, Paolo was technical director of Lisbon’s São Carlos theatre and of the international music festival in Macau.

paolo_trevisi-k0aC--190x130@CorriereVeneto

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  • NOT to be confused with the “Turandot”, which took place in 1998 in the Forbidden City and was the production conducted by Zubin Mehta and directed by Zhang Yimou and of which there is a colourful DVD on BMC/RCA.

  • I really don’t agree with the comment regarding “huge initiative”. That surely goes to the Opera company of Genoa which had performed in Beijing three years earlier in 1986 with Pavarotti singing Rodolfo. The 1989 Turandot was a far less grand affair.

    Zhang Yimou’s marvellous 1998 production of Turandot was not technically IN the Forbidden City. It was in what used to be called the Working People’s Cultural Palace set slightly to the east of the main Forbidden City complex. But it was a hugely atmospheric setting and Zhang used some of the ideas he was later to incorporate into the opening ceremony for the 2008 Olympics – 200 soldiers in period dress drumming powerfully before the opera started, for example. Sadly the quality of some of the casting did not match the setting.

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