Le Comte Ory is not of Rossini's very finest operas, with the story feeling like two stories cobbled together, but it is still a fun opera with that distinctive and lovely Rossini touch. This Glyndebourne production is just wonderful, even better than the Florez-DiDonato-Damrau Met production which I loved. The production is tastefully done, with beautifully colourful costumes and sets. The staging is never distracting, of course there are some moments that may be deemed as silly but actually I found that part of the fun. Standout touches were the rain falling down at night and the baths in Act 2. The orchestral playing makes the score bubble like the very best of champagne, the chorus are beautifully blended and Andrew Davis' tempos are fluid and authoritative, no signs of laziness even in the many repetitions that Rossini wrote here. When watching and hearing the Act 2 trio, I was transported to another world just by how heavenly it really was. The performances once again I cannot fault. Annick Massis boasts flute-like top notes, much-needed agility and a brilliant colouratura technique as well as a graceful stage presence, while Diana Montague sings expressively and is full of charm. Marc Laho impresses in the title role. His voice is not a large one, but that doesn't matter when the tone is as sweet and the technique as flexible as they are. Florez may have the more effortless top register, but Laho at least does not sound daunted by them. Acting-wise he is persistent and altogether lovable with really communicative eyes. Ludovic Tezier early on in his career sings strongly as Raimbaud, Jane Schaulis is deliciously comic and apart from the occasional approximate note Julien Robbins' Governor is superbly sung and played. All in all, a really charming production of a late Rossini. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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