For years the undisputed Rossini tenor par excellence, Juan Diego Flórez at last makes his debut in the hugely demanding role of Arnold and 'masters his part with seemingly effortless perfection' (Die Presse). Graham Vick's 2013 production gives the opera uncut in its original French version, complete with the often omitted ballet music. The William Tell legend of patriotic and political intrigue in 14th-century Switerland is interpreted by Vick as a timeless class conflict with dramatic and unforgettable images. A 'perfect cast' is conducted with 'verve and intensity' (Opera Today)
Rossini composed comic operas of the bel canto repertoire, which were very popular in the first half of the 19th century. Rossini's music was sparkling, inventive, Mozartian, and the vocal lines of his operas were showcases for tenors and sopranos of the day. Rossini popularized comedy in opera. It was his Barber Of Seville that began a tradition that is still strong to this very day. In the first half of the 19th century, tenor Manuel Garcia and his daughters, both of them acclaimed mezzo sopranos, delivered masterful performances of Rossini's operas…
By Rachel Garret
La cenerentola (“Cinderella”) is one of Rossini’s longest comedies, nearly three hours. For any readers who are not familiar with this opera, let me briefly tell you that it bears little resemblance to Perrault’s famous fairy tale. There is no fairy godmother, no pumpkin coach with mice turned into horses, no glass slipper, and no ball at the Prince’s with a midnight curfew. What’s left is a sweet girl, mistreated by her stepfather and vain stepsisters, and a prince in search of a wife…
FANFARE: David L. Kirk
“Grand, cinematic opera, in wide-screen and Surround Sound” – this is how Germany’s daily Die Welt sees Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell” (1829) from the Rossini Opera Festival Pesaro. The renowned Festival has produced an impressive staging of Rossini’s last opera, which is feared for its multitude of high notes by all tenors singing the role of Arnold – except, perhaps, the phenomenal Juan Diego Flórez, “in a class of his own” (Deutschlandradio), who interprets this role here.
During the years from 1815 to 1822 when his career centered on Naples, Rossini composed a sequence of works for the Teatro San Carlo, which at that time boasted an outstanding orchestra and a company of resident singers that was the leading ensemble available anywhere. A string of masterpieces resulted, including Ermione - which is without doubt one of the composer's greatest operas, despite it being perhaps the least immediately successful. Ermione was received with incomprehension at its sole performance in 1819 and was never revived in Rossini's lifetime. Since its first stage revival in Pesaro in 1987, Ermione has been recognized as a lost masterpiece. Set in the aftermath of the Trojan War, the opera's novelties begin with an overture interrupted by a choral lament of Trojan prisoners. Tension and staggering originality are maintained right to the very end.