Il barbiere di Siviglia @ Covent Garden

29029971664_656e01c687Weird, this production by the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. On paper a cast that could work, and directors I have appreciated much in the past. The direction was indeed clear and the directors filled all the stage directions with coherent and very funny gestures, such as the trio in Act II when Rosina, Figaro and the Count want to escape by the window: Rosina and the Count are so smitten that they continue undeterred to show their love with an excessive amount of vocalises with Figaro who tries to break this flow of ironic music. Just a detail, but many directors don’t focus on the unwritten details of the libretto. So well done!! But other things I was less happy with, such as the interaction between Basilio and Bartolo, filled with unsophisticated slapsticks. Maybe a bit too colourful, but altogether very pleasing, and the audience seemed very amused.

Musically I am slightly disappointed. Rosina had a very warm and appealing mezzo but her coloratura often smudged. 29029969364_1258854cb4Overall i found her interpretation over the top, closer to a ferocious Tosca than a malicious Rosina (screaming, kicking, throwing things about) but this might be the directors choice. The count, Javier Camarena, sang well, though I have heard him in serious Rossini singing much better. The musical lines not always even, some vowels bellowed others inaudible. Personally I found Basilio and Bartolo also quite unrefined and a bit too loud, although they are worldclass singers. Vito Priante was very good in his interpretation of the barber and also musically i was overall quite pleased. The director Henrik Nánási didn’t do much harm (I never heard such a “long” Act I finale, though).

 

Conductor-Henrik Nánási, Directors-Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier, Set designer-Christian Fenouillat, Costume designer-Agostino Cavalca, Lighting designer-Christophe Forey, Count Almaviva-Javier Camarena, Figaro-Vito Priante, Rosina-Daniela Mack, Doctor Bartolo-José Fardilha, Don Basilio-Ferruccio Furlanetto, Berta-Madeleine Pierard, Fiorello-Gyula Nagy (28/09/16)

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