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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moses in Palestine. Or Jordan?, 26 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Rossini: Mose In Egitto (Pesaro Festival) (Alex Esposito/ Olga Senderskaya/ Dmitry Korchak/ Sonia Ganassi/ Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna/ Roberto Abbado/ Graham Vick) (Opus Arte: OABD7112D) [Blu-ray] [2012] (Blu-ray)
This is the only DVD/blu-ray version of Mose in Egitto currently available – although there is also a DVD of a La Scala production of Moise et Pharaon – the extended french adaptation that Rossini made for Paris.
This Pesaro performance took place in a sports arena rather than a theatre. There is therefore no traditional proscenium, but a number of performance spaces behind and either side of the orchestra, and also some of the action takes place out amongst the audience. The production is somewhat hyper-active, with business going on in most of the spaces most of the time. I suspect that this would have been very effective live in the arena, but makes it extremely challenging to film. Mostly we get long-shots or close-ups of the “main” action, with occasional quick cuts to the other stuff, but it’s often hard to follow just what’s happening. The production is deliberately controversial, with many evocations of the present-day Middle East – although much of it is (again, deliberately) jumbled up. Moses is (sort-of) dressed as Osama Bin Laden, and Mr & Mrs Pharaoh as the King & Queen of Jordan. The Hebrews are depicted as terrorists (or freedom fighters, depending on your point of view) and the West Bank Barrier is there to keep them OUT of the Promised Land. It’s all a bit confusing at first, but if you’re prepared to open your mind, it works.

Musically it’s tremendous. Conductor Roberto Abbado keeps it moving along nicely. The orchestra and choral work are excellent. Dimitry Korchak as Pharaoh’s vile brat of a son Osiride gets a bit strained at the top, but otherwise all the cast are superb. Handsome and hunky Riccardo Zanellato makes a convincingly charismatic leader of Moses – sonorous and commanding. Sonia Ganassi is especially fine as poor deluded Elcia.

In conclusion, this is an excellent performance of Mose in Egitto which I doubt will be equalled or surpassed anytime soon. If your prepared to accept the controversial modern production, it’s a very enjoyable experience.
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