Most helpful positive review
on 23 December 2011
I bought this without knowing the story or the music because I have a strong liking for June Anderson, not to say a strong liking for Rossini.
I could not have made a better choice, June Andersons voice is really put to the test as The Queen, and is not found wanting. As an added bonus Samuel Ramey is singing here at the height of his power. Marylin Hornes Mezzo is powerful as the young pretender, and Stanford Olsen is a bright and listenable tenor. I should also like to hear more of Youngok Shin, but at present I cannot find her on DVD.
The chorus and orchestra are excellent as one would expect from The Met.
Sets are interesting and appropriate, with smooth changes. The costumes vary from beautiful for the ladies to impressive for the men.
The music is, apart from a couple of pieces, unfamiliar to me, but is typical Rossini, very listenable, well interpreted, but not perhaps one where one starts hummimg an aria afterwards. More dramatic say!
The extensive booklet tells one all one needs to know about the plot, the arias and the timings. There are articles on Rossini, The Production, and the leading performers.
I thoroughly recommend this DVD.