Rossini'is most popular opera, The Barber of Seville, tells the story of Count Almaviva (Max-Rene Cosotti)) who is in love with Rosina (Maria Ewing). Her bad tempered guardian Dr Bartolo (Claudio Desderi), wishes to marry her for her dowry. The count seeks the help of Figaro (John Rawnsley), a mischievous barber. Figaro suggests that the count should wear various amounts of disguises, to get close to Rosina, which results in hilarious consequences.
The genius of Rossini's composition is magnificent, fast and entertaining, it's immediately recognizable overture and it's lesser known pieces are equally as marvelous, keeping the viewers on the edge of their seats, with spellbinding effects.
Max-Rene Cosotti was wonderful as the count, his voice was light and skillful. His performance of the aria "Ecco ridente in cielo", which opens the opera (after the overture), sounded beautiful. There was something that annoyed me about him, which I cant quite place, but his singing was stunning.
Rosina was played by one of my favorite Mezzo Soprano's, the brilliant Maria Ewing. Her voice was beautiful, singing "Una voce poco fa" perfectly. Her funny over the top acting and jerky movements was completely fitting for the role in contrast to her dramatically played Carmen, which shows her versatile acting ability.
Claudio Desderi is also very good, playing Bartolo, with great energy and power in his voice.
However, the best performance was given by John Rawnsley, his voice was amazing, accompanied by hilarious facial expressions. His rendition of "Largo al factotum" was brilliant, his timing perfect and his movements excellently coordinated with the music. He is definitely one of the best Figaro's I have seen and heard.
The production is amazing, with great set designs and costumes. The London Philmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sylvain Cambreling, was phenomenal, along with the superb Glyndebourne Chorus, this was an excellent production and definitely worth purchasing.