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Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, November 2012

…an infectious delight from the past…adorable, it reminds you that opera is theater, and that this opera in particular is a comedy. Even without always knowing what was happening onstage, I laughed throughout. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, May 2012

this Barbiere, so full of vitality and fun, is preferable to many a “perfect” (of course there is no such thing) studio recording, and many scholarly attempts to perform the music exactly as Rossini composed it…I suspect that Rossini would have had the time of his life had he been sitting in the Royal Opera House on May 21, 1960. If you like this opera and collect live opera recordings, then I cannot recommend this ICA Classics release too highly.

ICA Classics has released several DVDs. Would that they could have done so for this performance! Given the frequent and generous laughter from the audience, in the absence of anything funny musically, this production must have been strong on comedy. Laughter being infectious, I often found myself making some of my own without really knowing why. You can’t ignore the spirited camaraderie heard in this performance.

Berganza, Alva, Corena, and Vinco are on top of their form here. Berganza is an engaging Rosina, bursting with personality, and Alva is his usual mellifluous self. Corena hams up Bartolo in the manner we expect him to, and is a pompous joy. Vinco takes “La calunnia” relatively straight, which allows us to enjoy his beautifully sonorous voice. Giulini keeps the performance under control as well as he can. He is, perhaps, the voice of reason here, although he has the good sense to let his expert cast do their collective thing.

Don’t miss the chance to acquaint yourself with this Barbiere. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review on Fanfare

Kurt Moses
American Record Guide, March 2012

Berganza, Alva, Corena, and Vinco…sing with better expression and with fuller, richer, and more alluring voices [than the previous production]…Berganza has a fuller and more beautiful voice…and offers a more detailed and complete characterization of [Rosina]. Alva, a fine lyric tenor, has a more attractive and more flexible voice…he’s also a better vocal actor. Ivor Vinco’s huge black bass is more effective in ‘La Calumnia’…and Corena expresses Bartolo’s predicaments better…audience is clearly enjoying the performance… © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

John Sheppard
MusicWeb International, February 2012

For the keen collector…there is always the chance that even the most unpromising recording will turn out to be pure gold; a performance that takes wing and which captures the listener in its spell whatever its sonic or other limitations. The present discs offer just such a recording. Over fifty years old but with sound that, as restored by Paul Baily, is certainly tolerable if little more, it recalls what was obviously an immensely enjoyable evening.

I suspect that from now on it will be the present recording that I will play when I want to experience that thrill that comes from being present at an evening at this most delightful opera when almost everything goes right. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

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