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Not even mildly funny
on 13 January 2014
Le Comte Ory is set in a French village during the Crusades. In his interview, Director Bart Sher says that he thought that to set his production in medieval times would be "weird". So instead, he set it in an 18th century theatre, with the cast in a random assortment of costumes, some 18th century, some earlier, and with Raimbaud dressed as a pirate. Think Jack Sparrow without the make-up. Obviously, Mr Sher and I have very different ideas as to what constitutes "weird". None of this would matter if it was funny, but it isn't, it really isn't. Reading the other reviews of both this and the Glyndebourne production, I have to concede that one's sense of humour is a personal thing. Watching this, I chuckled once, and briefly, whereas the Glyndebourne production had me in fits. The Met version, with its starry casting, is superior musically, but the Glyndebourne one is not far behind, and at times - such as the Act 2 Drinking Chorus - it's better. If all you're interested in is some beautiful singing, get the Met version - if you want the whole experience of a sparkling Rossini comedy, the Glyndebourne version is better. Also note that, at the time of writing, there are two more versions of Le Comte Ory in the pipeline - one from Pesaro, and one starring Cecilia Bartoli.