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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bartoli as enjoyable as ever
This is a performance that for me contains so much delight it almost ends too soon.
To start off with the star of it, Cecilia Bartoli. From the famous aria in act 1 scene 2, she enthralls the audience. It is refreshing to hear Bartoli's great range taken into full advantage here. Her charm and comedic touched are also very evident.
Now for the male stars...
Published on 31 Jan 2002 by Erik Aleksander Moe

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fine performance and production but now sadly technically well below par as a recording
This is an early Bartoli performance and has a lighter touch than some of her more driven recent productions. This is all to the good. Her Rossini Cinderella benefits in much the same way. The rest of the cast are good too and this traditional performance works well. In particular Lloyd gives an absolutely unforgettable rendition of the 'scandal' aria.

However...
Published on 23 Nov 2011 by I. Giles


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bartoli as enjoyable as ever, 31 Jan 2002
By 
Erik Aleksander Moe "riddion" (Oslo, Norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Stuttgart [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This is a performance that for me contains so much delight it almost ends too soon.
To start off with the star of it, Cecilia Bartoli. From the famous aria in act 1 scene 2, she enthralls the audience. It is refreshing to hear Bartoli's great range taken into full advantage here. Her charm and comedic touched are also very evident.
Now for the male stars. Almaviva is played by David Kuebler who is a joy to see from the first moment. When you look at him you have to smile and even laugh at his comic face when he is disguised as the drunken soldier and Basilio's assistant. His singing is nothing less than great either. Both the comedic acting and the singing are joined perfectly. Equally impressive is the Figaro of Gino Quilico, singing the famous entrance aria in scene 1 with so much style, charm and tonal splendor, that you know that this going to very entraining, even before Bartoli knocks you futher off with her aria in the next scene. Carlos Feller's Bartoli is nothing short of brilliant. What he misses in steady tone, as the others have, the makes up in acting. He really lives the part he is playing fully. And then there is Robert Lloyd's Basilio, who sings his famous aria with so much style and dark tones that he reminds me of the wonderful Feodor Chaliapin. He too plays the role he is playing fully.
Gabriele Ferro is the conductor who put the whole performance together. He leaves the solists room to do their natural comic touches that is fully in line with their characters and at the same time having a firm timing on the orchestra and phrasing it perfectly.
This is without a doubt a virtually perfect performance of one the funniest operas and I highly recommend it.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very polished traditional interpretation., 11 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Stuttgart [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
The opera is performed in a small theatre in Germany and is a traditional performance, with Cecilia Bartoli at her best. I have seen this opera a few times on stage and it can be over the top trivialised opera buffa, but this version has the balance right. Usually enjoyable, but this interpretation showed the opera it at its best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fine performance and production but now sadly technically well below par as a recording, 23 Nov 2011
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Stuttgart [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This is an early Bartoli performance and has a lighter touch than some of her more driven recent productions. This is all to the good. Her Rossini Cinderella benefits in much the same way. The rest of the cast are good too and this traditional performance works well. In particular Lloyd gives an absolutely unforgettable rendition of the 'scandal' aria.

However ... time has now passed by and this recording really does show its age, especially in less than sharp camera focus which shows up on in all shots other than close-up and the limited stereo sound track. It does not begin to compete with modern high definition sound or vision experienced via either DVD or even better, Blu-ray.

This would not be so vital if the more modern recordings were below par musically but this is no longer the case. There are two rivals I would suggest as being much better purchases nowadays - the Florez/Bayo offering (Blu-ray) and the Zurich production under Santi with a marvellous Kasarova (DVD) which would be my own personal top tip. Both of these alternatives offer excellent acting as well as singing and come with far more modern sound and vision.

I have supplied fuller reviews of the two alternatives mentioned above and which can be found listed under their respective details.

I would suggest that in these circumstances this current disc featuring the young Bartoli and a particularly fine 'scandal' aria by Lloyd, will mostly appeal to those for whom the recording quality is of no concern. For others there are now alternative fine performances in more modern recordings which many will now find preferable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A traditional Barber, 18 Mar 2011
By 
M. Joyce (Cairo, Egypt) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Stuttgart [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This is very much a traditional production with nothing to scare the purists. It is filmed in a wholly conventional manner and is a recording of a live production dating from 1988. Overall, there is nothing here to astonish, but by the same token, there is nothing here to offend either. The orchestral playing is good and the singing and acting rather more so. The young Cecilia Bartoli is on top form as Rosina; nowadays I find her irritatingly mannered and at times like a bad parody of herself, but her singing here is wonderful in its flexibility and richness. The Figaro and Almaviva, Gino Quilico and David Kuebler, are not quite so such accomplished Rossinians, but they both sing and act well, especially the latter, who is one of the most amusing Counts I have seen. Robert Lloyd is a traditional Basilio who makes a great deal of "La calunnia", which quite rightly brings the house down; this is a great bass singer captured at the height of his powers. Carlos Feller's singing is rather parched and dry as Bartolo, but he is wholly convincing as the crotchety old lawyer, while Edith Kertész-Gabry makes much of little as Berta. If you want a good, honest, well-sung "Barber", then this is the one for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine ensemble performance, 4 Aug 2007
This review is from: Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Stuttgart [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This is a highly enjoyable, well sung and performed version of this staple of the opera repertoire. All the cast give creditable performances, however my personal taste is for Rosina to be sung by a soprano with a slightly lighter voice than Cecilia Bartole's low mezzo. She demonstrates terrific range but I find her rather rich, full and a little deep vocally.
However if Cecilia Bartoli is more to your taste then I am sure you find this a 5 star offering.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect performance!, 11 Feb 2012
This review is from: Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Stuttgart [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This is one of the greatest performances committed to DVD. All of the performers are at the height of their considerable powers, and the traditional production allows Beaumarchais' and Rossini's combined genius to shine through. Quilico's Figaro looks and sounds perfect, with great comic timing (his dance with Bartoli in act 2 elicits spontaneous audience applause). Bartoli and Kuebler look like they're having great fun, with plenty of chemistry to keep you believing they actually DO have the hots for each other. Robert Lloyd is magnificent as Basilio. 'La calunnia e un venticello' receives possibly the biggest ovation for any of the arias. Finally, the conducting of Gabriele Ferro, one of the great Rossini specialists, seals this exemplary performance. Totally wonderful - buy a copy while there are some cheap ones around!
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