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George Hall
BBC Music Magazine, April 2002

"Robert Carsen's sharp and snappy production, taped at the Flanders Opera in 1991 is an impeccably stylish affair that combines passion with wit, exactly as does Puccini's score. In the title role, Miriam Gauci is vocally skilled and dramatically inventive, charting the rise and fall of the venal yet lovable heroine with taste and a lavish top register. She's ably partnered by the healthy Latin tenor of Spaniard Antonio Ordonez's appropriately bookish Des Grieux. The late Jules Bastin's lecherous Geronte meanwhile falls just the right side of parody. The acting is universally purposeful and detailed - from the principals down to individual chorus members - and the piece comes over with tremendous effect. Much of its success is due to conductor Silvio Varviso's sensitive handling of the score, though he's not ashamed to give Puccini's outsize emotions their head when required."





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