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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the Greatest Rossini, but Very Enjoyable., 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Rossini: Adelaide Di Borgogna (2011) (Daniella Barcellona, Jessica Pratt, Bogdan Mihai) (Arthaus: 108060) [Blu-ray] [2013] (Blu-ray)
Although this opera does not express Rossini at his best, it's nevertheless a worthwhile and enjoyable watch. On the whole it is directed, staged, sung and acted well with only a few minor annoyances. For instance, can anyone tell me why the role of Ottone (Otto I of Germany) is acted and sung by a woman, Daniela Barcellona? (She acted it very well) Was this how Rossini wanted it or is it someone else's idea and, if so, whose? Why was it decided to have kitsch medieval costumes instead of correct period costumes relating to the time during which the events in the opera are staged as having taken place (circa 950)?

This production is worth watching if only for the role of Adelaide, superbly sung and portrayed by Jessica Pratt. It's a real treat to listen to her singing in the bel canto style. All the players, including the chorus, are top notch and the minimalistic scenery is just right for the job. I got the feeling that this is a work in which Rossini was 'feeling his way'. Sparks of the great stuff are there, but the best is yet to come. I think many opera lovers will enjoy watching it and for a number of reasons. Apart from anything else, it shows us something of how a composer does things when he is feeling his way to lasting greatness.

Bogdan Mihai and Nicola Ulivieri were excellent as the two villains even if their roles did verge on the farcical at times. The combined efforts of all concerned has turned this lesser known, not as good as the best of Rossini, opera into something very enjoyable and well worth watching. Here we have the opposite of a great opera being spoiled by such things as bad staging, miscasting, poor direction and so on. Here we have a mediocre work greatly enhanced by sensible staging, good direction and first class orchestration, singing and acting. For myself, I can say I would certainly enjoy watching it much more than once. Jessica Pratt's performance alone makes it all worthwhile. She really is very good. I just get the feeling that here we have a team of dedicated people, with the audience in mind, all giving of their best to lift a lesser known work to the heights of enjoyment for opera lovers. Bravo! Many thanks! You deserve five stars.
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H. A. Weedon "Mouser"
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: North Somercotes, Lincolnshire, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 915