I have been stung into action by the previous review of this set. Contrary to Mr Kuerti's opinion, I have to say I found this performance first-rate, musically and dramatically.
Updating the action of operas is so commonplace nowadays as to be half-expected, and I for one do not mind as long as there is a coherent reason for this. What is more important for me is that the integrity of the piece is maintained, and it is here that many directors fall on their faces. Here, the opera is set in the 1960s with the protagonists go-getting middle class mods, the jetsetting men in sharp suits and porkpie hats, their girlfriends resplendent in Mary Quant minidresses. What could be neater than the two men's transformation into hippie visions for Act 2? That is the concept for this production, and once established the story is allowed to progress exactly as Da Ponte wrote it.
Musically, this production is superb. All the cast are excellent, with Dorothea Röschmann giving a deeply moving and human performance as Fiordiligi.
I urge you to buy this. Yes, there is stage business during the overture but I, personally, did not find it jarring, and the remainder of the piece more than makes up for it.