“Maria Guleghina has sung the short but demanding title role of this opera twelve times at the Met over the last three years. She sounded comfortable with its myriad challenges Wednesday, tossing off heroic high notes and acting the part of the ice princess with appropriate menace. All the big top notes were intact for In questa reggia, which proved to be the start of a memorable, marathon performance for the Ukrainian soprano.
Guleghina navigated the crucial transformation of the character in the difficult third act, made more challenging since Puccini never lived to write the opera’s ending. Franco Alfano’s completion of Act III is usually treated as a necessary evil by singers and conductors. But on Wednesday night, Turandot’s sudden understanding of compassion and
love was dramatically believable, thanks to Guleghina’s performance and careful, sensitive leadership from Dan Ettinger in the pit.”
The Classical Review
“After an unusually long set change between the first two acts, Maria Guleghina appeared as Turandot, the ice maiden incarnate, a glittering apparition in gilded headdress. She brought a thrilling chill to “In questa reggia,” in which she declares that no man shall ever possess her. Her steely, powerful voice softened and took on warmer hues when the newly vulnerable Turandot came to realize that she had been outsmarted by Calàf. A few vocal imperfections and a weak lower range didn’t detract from an impressive performance, dramatically riveting in its final moments, as Turandot relents to Calàf ’s love.”
The New York Times
“Maria Guleghina, the Ukrainian soprano who has been a mainstay at the Met for 17 seasons, sang the title role of the icy princess who likes to send her suitors to their death by challenging them to answer three daunting riddles. Her big, bright voice rang out with imperious authority if little nuance in her aria, “In questa reggia,” and the riddle scene that followed. But in Act 3, when Turandot melts under the influence of a kiss from the mysterious prince Calaf, Guleghina scaled back her powerhouse sound for some affecting singing.”
The Washington Post