Alongside the 1975 Jean Pierre Ponelle film(it has minor flaws but I'll always have fondness for the production that introduced me to this great operas), 1993 production and 1994 productions, this 1973 Glyndebourne production is in the top 4 of my favourite Le Nozze Di Figaros.
The opera itself is a masterpiece, thrilling and very funny with memorable characters, touching moments such as Dove Sono and when the Countess forgives her husband and some of Mozart's best music. In many ways this production is sublime. If there is any real problem at all, it would be the sound, sometimes it is fine, at others it is rather muffled.
Picture quality fares much better, I wasn't sure whether it would hold up but it is very clear. The costumes are beautiful and the sets with a more than convincing Count's estate and stunning garden set are magnificent. Traditional they are, but also very effective, likewise with the staging which is interesting without ever becoming stolid.
The music is every bit as sublime as it ever was, and John Pritchard leads the polished orchestra in a lively(and uncut!) reading that avoids stodginess in the recitatives. All the major arias are done with aplomb and the ensembles a treat to the ears.
The singing is exceptional and all the singers look natural in their surroundings and their acting. There are two performances I would like to single out, Ileana Cotrubas as a truly delightful and charming Susanna, and Kiri TeKanawa as a radiantly acted and sung Countess, though one shouldn't dispute Frederica Von Strade's perhaps definitive Cherubino(Maria Ewing comes very close), Benjamin Luxon's superb Count Almaviva and Knut Skram's richly voiced and hearty Figaro.
In conclusion, sublime. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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