n May of 1997, Zubin Mehta conducts and Zhang Yimou directs Puccini's "Turnadot" in Florence. A year later, they stage nine performances in Beijing. This documentary focuses on the China production: a huge and elaborate set, hundreds of extras, three sets of principles, props and costumes matching the Ming Dynasty.
Mehta, with his Indian roots and European training, revels in bringing disparate cultures together. Zhang wants the music to come through and anticipates the demands (and habits) of the Chinese audience. Rehearsals; production work; rain; talks with singers, crew, and local officials -- can it all come together?
When the chorus is in full volume, no one sleeps.