I know Haydn from his symphonies, quartets and concertos(the former two genres he was responsible for generally founding and developing). Lo Speziale was very interesting, likewise with this 1982 production, though I do have to agree that those who are unfamiliar with the music and story would benefit from subtitles. Visually, it is traditional and simple, yet fancy without looking dull. The staging fits well within the farcial style, and while broad the humour is funny. The video directing is simple like the settings and effective in it yet captures the action well, though the quality of the picture I think could've been sharper. From a musical point of view, the production is really excellent. The orchestral playing crackles with energy, while the conducting is efficient yet shows sensitivity in the recitatives. The performances are every bit as impressive. Antonella Manotti and Carmen Gonzalez are charming and their singing is well suited to the style. William Matteuzzi, looking very slim here, has a good sense of comedy and his singing while not large in size is nicely toned and flexible. But Luigi Alva is the best asset of the production, while not in his prime he still articulates superbly, is a strong actor and still has a sturdy sound. In conclusion, an interesting find though not a personal favourite. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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