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Turandot Project, The (2001)
Starring: Carlo Allemano, Lando Bartolini, Giovanna Casolla, Barbara Frittoli, Cristina Gallardo Domas
Director: Allan Miller
Category: Documentary, Music, Foreign
Studio: Zeigeist
84 mins



In 1997, Oscar-winning documentarian Allan Miller (The Bolero, From Mao to Mozart) embarked on a film project with renowned conductor Zubin Mehta and celebrated Chinese film director Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Ju Dou) as they joined forces in a production of Puccini's opera Turandot in Florence. Before the year was out, an extraordinary opportunity arose: to stage Turandot in its original setting in the Forbidden City of Beijing. The outdoor production was an undertaking on an epic scale-including the expansion of the site with the construction of huge new sets, the creation of breathtaking hand-sewn Ming Dynasty costumes and the adding of hundreds of soldiers and local extras, to lend a lavish authenticity to the staging. A fascinating chronicle of an unprecedented cross-cultural collaboration, The Turandot Project combines the pageantry of this opulent opera production with a spectacular cinematic portrait of the struggles and triumphs of Zubin Mehta and Zhang Yimou to mount their production in this most historic venue of China.


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