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Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, February 2013

The sound is good and the balance between pit and stage is well judged. The orchestra play well and the secco recitatives are swift and lively. In the first duet Fanie Antonelou stands out with her excellent voice, beautiful, steady and expressive. Baritone Gianpiero Ruggeri as Don Parmenione is also good, and the soprano Elizaveta Martirosyan more than that. She has a silvery timbre…Her cavatina…is a beautiful piece and it is beautifully executed. This is singing of the utmost accomplishment.

Count Alberto is sung with lyrical elegance by the Icelandic tenor Garðar Thór Cortes.

All in all, then, this is a lovely opera and it is well served by the performers. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Stephen Francis Vasta
Opera News, February 2013

The present production…is first-class, adding up, perhaps, to more than the sum of its parts…Garoar Thór Cortes…sings well and with reasonable style…he has the flexibility for the rolling triplets of his cabaletta, and he fearlessly hurls out bright, ringy high notes.

Elizaveta Martirosyan, as…Berenice, has a pleasing, soft-grained lyric timbre…Gianpiero Ruggeri’s compact, resonant baritone makes for a strongly profiled Don Parmenione…Joan Ribalta sings Don Eusebio in clear, articulate tones…All the soloists inflect the recitatives alertly…

Conductor Antonino Fogliani…propels the ensembles with style and rhythmic lift and lets the cantilenas “breathe.” He draws brilliant, colorful sounds from the Württemberg Philharmonic—the woodwinds and horns are particularly vivid…the recording is forward and detailed, with a subtle ambience. © 2013 Opera News Read complete review

Bob Rose
Fanfare, January 2013

Gianpiero Ruggeri gives a good performance as the Don, and the lyric Icelandic tenor Garðar Thór Cortes is a fine Count. Elizaveta Martirosyan has a bright soprano voice that is right for the role of Bernice, and the rest of the cast are all quite competent. Antonino Fogliani conducts briskly as he should, and the sound is excellent.

Any Rossini lover should have a recording of this opera. This recording is good… © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review

John Sheppard
MusicWeb International, October 2012

…as is clear from these discs and recent performances it is an inventive and enjoyable work. I have found listening to this performance an exhilarating experience.

The performance here is thoroughly idiomatic and enjoyable. It would perhaps be possible to imagine a more starry cast or, at times, greater clarity in articulation but the gain from being recorded at live performances is immense. Fortunately there are few stage noises and the applause at the end of numbers is not excessively long. If I praise the two female singers especially this implies no lack of quality in the men. The orchestra play with real rhythmic verve and understanding. The voices are well distinguished from each other and the singers are always alive to the words and the situations. Indeed above all this is an ensemble performance of an ensemble opera. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2012

Rossini was just twenty when he wrote the one-act comedy, L’occasione fa il ladro, and from the outset it was given a cool reception and soon fell from the repertoire. Today its gentle humour has found a growing popularity, the story opening with the unscrupulous Don Parmenione taking advantage that Count Albert’s servant has, in his haste, snatched his suitcase, leaving behind the one belonging to the wealthy young man. Using the contents of the case he assumes the Count’s identity and visits the home of the girl the Count intended to marry—thankfully for the plot they have never met—and thinking there might be money in the marriage, decides to continue his deception. The Count also arrives, and is branded a trickster by Parmenione. From therein mistaken identities multiply until all is sorted out and the opera ends happily. At less than an hour and a half, it is too short for a whole evening and too long to comfortably sit with another one act opera. The answer is to insert an interval where the first disc comes to a close, as if the work is in two scenes. Having much enjoyed the opera on stage, I can verify that it is amusing, though there is no laughter in this 2005 performance from the theatre in Bad Wildbad. The overture is not one of Rossini’s foot-tapping moments, and the work takes time to start bubbling. But when we get to the big central quintet the music is top-drawer Rossini and typical of his better known comic operas.The much experienced Italian baritone, Gianpiero Ruggeri, takes the Don, and never milks the humour as I have heard elsewhere. The Icelandic tenor, Gardar Thor Cortes, is the lightweight lyric Count, and if some of the fast elaborations are sketchy the Armenian soprano, Elizaveta Martirosyan, has that bright and perky voice ideal for the impish Berenice, the young lady at the centre of the story. The remaining characters are there only to complete the story, and are pleasingly taken. One or two moments apart the Wurttemberg Philharmonic provides a fine backdrop, the conductor, Antonino Fogliani, keeping the action moving at a brisk tempo in a good Southwest German radio recording. © 2012 David’s Review Corner

Didier VanMoere
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