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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully Enjoyable Romp, 10 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Pergolesi: Il Flaminio (Juan Francisco Gatell/ Laura Polverelli/ Ottavio Dantone/ Michal Znaniecki) (Arthaus: 108067) (2010) [Blu-ray] [2012] (Blu-ray)
One of the helpful facts about Pergolesi's Il Flaminio is that it can be adapted to fit in with any day and age with the result that both costumes and staging in this production were outstandingly good, not least because they enhanced the acting at every turn. This one, big, delightful romp of a production brings out to a tee Pergolesi's preoccupation with the importance of servants and their role in society. Small wonder then that Laura Cherici as Checca, Glustina's maid, and Vito Priante as Vastiano, Polidoro's manservant, in a sense, 'steal the show'.

Here we have a production in which the staging and acting are every bit as good as the music and singing. I couldn't help feeling that the object of the opera is simply to show how easy it is to be happy when we put aside all kinds of silly notions. The servants, Checca and Vastiano, show us how to take a delight in life and thrill to its joys, something which is epitomised in the scene in which they take turns at pushing each other on a swing. Their employers and their friends, who get their love lives all tangled up, are not anything like as happy. Then, of course, we have the hilarious 'throwing stuff over the balcony' scene.

It's such a delight that all these works by Pergolesi are now being resurrected. They are timeless, readily adaptable, works that fit in so well with any day and age. It's encouraging to know that we do have 'enjoyable romp' operas like this one to balance out the many tragic operas which end up with someone dying. I think Pergolesi should be taken into the mainstream of opera composers and not just 'barely mentioned' in works that purport to be about the history of opera.

Although tragic operas by the great composers are soul rousing stuff, it's also helpful to be inspired into happiness by the joie de vivre of inspiring works such as Il Flaminio composed by a maestro who passed away just weeks after his twenty sixth birthday. He must have had a great deal of joy inside him despite his ill health and short life. This is the kind of work that you can watch over and over again and never tire of it. All the singer-actors are first-rate and I have no hesitation of thoroughly recommending this DVD and Blu-ray.
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Location: North Somercotes, Lincolnshire, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,138