My favourite Rossini operas will always be Il Barbiere Di Siviglia, William Tell and La Cenerentola. Any Rossini opera though is worth hearing or seeing at least once, and La Scala Di Seta is no exception, as it is a charming opera and has lovely if very difficult music. This production is very well done, but I did prefer the 1990 production with Lucianna Serra(who is in the same role in this performance as well) and Alessandro Corbelli. The costumes and sets are not as colourful as the later performance, but are traditional and still look pretty to look at, while the staging is fun without being overdone. The orchestral playing shows plenty of Rossini style and sensitivity, and the conducting is solid and doesn't jar with the stage business. The performances are very fine as well. I can't say though that I am the biggest fan of William Matteuzzi's basic sound, which has a tendency to sound rather nasal for my liking, but as Dorvil he does deserve credit still because he clearly knows and understands Rossini's style and he does have a likable presence as well. Roberto Coviello isn't quite the comic genius in the role of Germano that Corbelli is, that said he does at least have a sense of comedy and he sings firmly. Lucianna Serra dazzles with her charming presence, elegant phrasing, clear passage-work and spot-on high notes, I do prefer her performance here to her later one where she still brought all those qualities but had some intonation problems. A young(22 I believe) Cecilia Bartoli even then shows great expression in her singing and as Lucilla she is very agile in her technique and has a lovely smoky richness to her voice. In conclusion, a very well done production if not quite my first choice. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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