Il Viaggio A Reims is one of Rossini's best operas, and this was a brilliant production of it. It is a visually simple yet elegant production, and it never stops moving in terms of staging. The orchestra play stylishly and beautifully, and the conducting never lets anything lag. The performances are spot on with not a single weak link. Maybe Montserrat Caballe is not quite as good as the rest partly because she is past prime, but her musicality and phrasing make up for things. Lucia Valentini-Terrani is firm-voiced and commanding, while Cecilia Gasdia is appealing. Chris Merritt and Frank Lopardo sing their difficult tenor parts with confidence, while Ruggero Raimondi and Enzo Dara as ever prove what extraordinary singing-actors they are. I found Ferruccio Furlanetto to be a real stand-out, he always had and still does have great comic timing and that is no exception as Lord Sidney. I especially love the national anthem scene, especially for Furlanetto's incredulous uttering "I beg your pardon?".
Overall, a simply brilliant production. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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