Joyce DiDonato - Rossini: Le Comte Ory (2 DVD)
The spectacular trio of Juan Diego Florez, Diana Damrau and Joyce DiDonato ensures that Rossini's final comic opera, 'Le Comte Ory', makes an impact in its firstever production at New York's Metropolitan Opera.
With Juan Diego Florez in the title role of Rossini's sometimes risque comic opera, 'Le Comte Ory', Diana Damrau as his love interest, Countess Adele, and Joyce DiDonato in breeches as his pageboy Isolier, vocal and theatrical fireworks are guaranteed.
Spring 2011 brought the first-ever performances at New York's Metropolitan Opera of Rossini's final comic opera, 'Le Comte Ory'. Written for Paris in 1828, the piece is musically refined, yet shamelessly and hilariously farcical in its plot devices. It tells the story of a libidinous and cunning nobleman who disguises himself first as a hermit and then as a nun ('Sister Colette') in order to gain access to the virtuous Countess Adele, whose brother is away at the Crusades.
The production is by the Tony Award-winning Broadway director Bartlett Sher, who in recent years has also staged Il barbiere di Siviglia and Les Contes d'Hoffmann for the Met. It presents the action as an opera within an opera, updating the action by a few centuries and giving the costume designer, Catherine Zuber, the opportunity to create some particularly extravagant headgear.
Florez, Damrau and DiDonato are all great favourites in New York – and all had appeared in Sher's production of Il barbiere di Siviglia. A comic (and musical) highlight of 'Le Comte Ory' – and a highpoint of amorous confusion – is the episode in Act II which finds all three stars in an enormous bed, groping around as they sing.
The New York Times praised "the terrific cast", citing Damrau's "lustrous, agile coloratura soprano voice, and charisma galore" and describing how DiDonato, "who sang with plush sound and impeccable passagework, sent top notes soaring and conveyed all the swagger of a smitten page". The Financial Times named Florez "a bel-canto paragon virtually without peer. He attacks and/or floats top tones with laughing ease, phrases with slender grace and exudes charm even when impersonating a singing nun". The Wall Street Journal said: "it was a treat to hear Mr. Florez navigate the vocal extremes of the role, popping out high C's while adopting a rascally but winning demeanor."
Conducted with verve and finesse by Rossini specialist Maurizio Benini, the production also features the stylish French baritone Stephane Degout as Ory's bibulous conspirator Raimbaud (quite a change from his previous Met role – Debussy's gentle Pelleas), charismatic Italian bass Michele Pertusi as the Count's long-suffering Tutor, and, formidable as Adele's housekeeper Ragonde, the Swedish dramatic mezzo Susanne Resmark.
Release Date : 19 Mar 2012