This is a lavishly staged production filmed in Barcelona in 2004 - sumptuous costumes, enormous sets, dozens of extras - which left me somewhat unsatisfied. None of the singers are particularly outstanding in their roles, and the glossy production values rob the story of much of the human element which seems to get brushed aside. Inevitably the closest it gets to the spirituality of the piece is in Barbara Fritolli's Liu, and although she sings well, I felt curiously unengaged by her performance. Luana deVol in the title role is a little harsh vocally whilst lacking the dominating stage presence needed to carry this cariacture role off. Franco Farina as Calaf is not a tenor of the first rank, and his voice tends to spread when he tries to exert volume - although when he is not singing 'forte' there is some lovely tone to his voice.
The production by Nuria Espert is hampered by some frankly bizarre costume designs by Franca Squarciapino - a sort of cross between a pagan Far Eastern civilisation (with references of Orientalism) and science fiction Star Wars worlds. The huge sets are also used rather irrationally, which is at odds with the relative "realism" of the staging - for example the buddhist rock figure in the cliffface at the back of the stage periodically opens up to reveal scenes and characters inside. And Espert has "reinterpreted" Puccini's unfinished ending according to reservations he had about the final scene before he died - this production doesn't end happily in a loving embrace!
The recording quality is excellent as with all this TDK series, and worth seeing, despite all the negative points I seem to have been making, but I don't particularly want to see this one again.