What a delightful opera! I first became aware of Il Matrimonio Segreto from the recording, No Tenors Allowed, that features a duet from this opera, "Se fiato in corpo avete." I have since discovered that has far more to offer that that one glorious piece. Segreto is a fun, funny and light-hearted rollick in the true buffo tradition. The story is silly and convoluted, but then again that is half the fun. The music is light, and while not quite on par with Mozart (a contemporary of Cimarosa), who is? Cimarosa is certainly no slouch and offers a wonderful example of late eighteenth century musical style.
This DVD recording is also a delight to watch. With only the six principles in the cast, (with the occasional "super" non-singing extra making brief appearances), you need not only great singers but capable actors to pull this off. These six did a fantastic job not only musically, but in their acting (not always a forte of opera singers). I was "sold" on the fact that they were these characters and impressed by how well they melded their music to assist the action and character development. Buffo is much harder to do correctly than drama, and this cast is outstanding. It is actually funny.
I don't always notice the director's "hand" in operas, but I was very impressed by the direction of Claus Viller in this production. The staging is sparse and uncluttered, which enhances the sparseness of the cast and adds to the dramatic flow.
I wholeheartedly recommend this DVD to any opera buffs, either in casual or fanatical stripe.