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David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2019

ROSSINI, G.: Barbiere di Siviglia (Il) [Opera] (Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, 2017) (NTSC) 2.110592
ROSSINI, G.: Barbiere di Siviglia (Il) [Opera] (Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, 2017) (Blu-ray, HD) NBD0065V

The producer, Laurent Pelly, brings into the present day Rossini’s comedy, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, in a new staging for Paris’s Theatre Champs-Elysees. For one who is usually averse to such changes, I have greatly enjoyed a performance that takes the opera as nothing more than lightweight comedy and relies on the music and performers. The set being just a large sheet of manuscript paper with few props to clutter the stage. So we can concentrate on the very high vocal qualities of the cast headed up by the Italien-American tenor, Michele Angelini, as Count Almaviva. He is a specialist in singing roles where Rossini demands a virtuoso tenors, he makes light of his opening aria, Ecco, ridente in cielo, and from therein his silky smooth quality is always a joy. His Rosina is the French mezzo, Catherine Trottmann, looking just like the ‘girl next door’ who dresses in figure hugging jeans and a very revealing top. Vocally she is just attractive as her appearance, and you can well imagine Almaviva falling for her attractions. With just that massive piece of manuscript on stage there was nothing the video team had to do apart from pointing cameras in the right direction, which they do very successfully, and the sound is a few degrees more natural than is normal. So if you want a modern adaptation, you are going to be very happy with this. There is also a Blu-ray version available on NBD 0065V. © 2019 David’s Review Corner

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