Ricciardo E Zoraide is a more than worthwhile opera from Rossini(as is mostly the case) without it being one of his best. This live performance from Pesaro is highly impressive, with little to find fault with musically. The orchestral playing is exactly what Rossini orchestral playing should sound like, it is lush, playful and stylish yet also with an emotional flavour to give the lovely music its depth. The chorus blend beautifully and communicate very well through the music. Riccardo Chailly Rossini's conducting impresses me more every time I hear it, a lot of the tempos are quite fast but not enough to feel completely rushed through and his musicianship and love for the music really shine through. Bruce Ford's Agorante is a tour-De-force, there is such command in the voice and like his Mitridate he manages to bring flexibility to a quite sizable voice. June Anderson charms with dazzling colouratura technique, with secure runs and her high C sharps and Ds really ring out. William Matteuzzi gives one of the best performances I've seen from him, he is very winning with a fun presence, and his voice is more appealing than usual, I could find his tone sometimes rather dry and nasal but that was not the case here. Giovanni Furlanetto(not to be confused with Ferruccio) has a quite light voice, which in itself isn't actually a problem, but it is also lovely and hearty and well-suited in the Bel Canto style. Gloria Scalchi is thrillingly scheming as Zomira, her voice is not as plummy as Della Jones on record but it is still a pleasing one and well-suited for the role. In conclusion, an impressive live performance with outstanding musical values. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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