La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) marked a culmination of the convergence of serious and comic elements in Rossini’s work. The result is an ideal hybrid: a tragic opera with a happy ending that rises to the status of true opera seria. With its outstanding dramatic and musical qualities it remains one of Rossini’s greatest and most successful operas, a constant presence in the repertoire since its triumphant 1817 première in Milan. This performance is conducted by Alberto Zedda, who made his conducting début in 1956, produced the first critical edition of La gazza ladra, and is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the operas of Rossini.
“Sets, costumes and acting are all under sensible direction and there are none of those silly diversionary indulgences that have become so habitual in recent years. There are four good vocal performances: by Elena Zilio and Nucci Condò, both sturdy mezzos; by David Kuebler, an accomplished lyric tenor; and by the grand veteran Carlos Feller… Ileana Cotrubas as the heroine sometimes touches the heart but at this stage in her career rarely delights the ear. Bartoletti and his players do justice to Rossini's score, as do the video director and his crew to the events onstage.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2007