The Metropolitan Opera HD Live: Season 5, Episode 9

Rossini: Le Comte Ory (9 Apr. 2011)

TV Episode  |  Music
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The young Count Ory takes advantage of the fact that the village men are off fighting, and breaks into the castle to declare his love to Adele. His sidekick Isolier reveals Ory's plans to her, and the two of them hatch a plan to trick Ory.


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Episode credited cast:
Juan Diego Flórez ...
Count Ory
Diana Damrau ...
Countess Adèle
Joyce DiDonato ...
Stéphane Degout ...
Michele Pertusi ...
The Tutor
Susanne Resmark ...
Monica Yunus ...
Tony Stevenson ...
Tyler Simpson ...
Rob Besserer ...
the Prompter
Maurizio Benini ...
Himself - Conductor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Timothy Church ...
Himself - Costume manager
Herself - Host
Metropolitan Opera Chorus ...
Stage Hand


The young Count Ory takes advantage of the fact that the village men are off fighting, and breaks into the castle to declare his love to Adele. His sidekick Isolier reveals Ory's plans to her, and the two of them hatch a plan to trick Ory.

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Release Date:

9 April 2011 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

News of the Screws
4 June 2012 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

I love the thrill of seeing and hearing an opera for the first time. Le Comte Ory is a new opera to me, although I admit I did watch the first 20 minutes of Glyndbourne's production when it was broadcast in the 1990s. At this distance in time I cannot say for certain whether that production was rubbish or whether I was just not capable of appreciating it.

No doubts about this production though. It is a delight from beginning to end. I love the way that director Bartett Sher has set the production in an 18th century theatre with minimal scenery and visible props manipulated by an irascible, on-stage prompter. This is a visually stunning production with lavish costumes in shades of red, orange, purple and scarlet worn by the womens' chorus as well as some glamorous supernumeraries.

The opera is set in a mediaeval village where all the men have gone to the crusades, hence the importance of the womens' chorus. The women, and in particular the local countess are besieged by a notorious womaniser, the Count Ory, who first masquerades as a hermit and then as a nun. There is no mens' chorus until the middle of Act II when 25 men, many of them bearded, appear disguised as nuns to hilarious effect. Strangely, the plot reminded me of Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience with the twenty lovesick maidens falling for Bunthorne.

The opera contains music recycled from Il Viaggio à Reims: a fact which, I confess, I did not notice. If Il Viaggio requires the world's 14 best operatic soloists, Le Comte Ory requires three of them for the very demanding bel canto lead roles. In the title role, Juan Diego Floréz has, for him, a shaky start, not quite pinging the high notes in his usual manner. This is understandable as, apparently, his first child was born 35 minutes before the performance started. Fortunately he soon gets into his stride. Joyce DiDonato is a revelation in the trouser role of Isolier with convincing male body language and a voice that blends beautifully with Juan Diego's in their Act I duet. The really high notes are left to Diana Damrau as the Countess. For reasons that I do not understand, this is the first time that I have heard this wonderful soprano.

The climax of the opera is what the News of the World would have called a three in a bed romp with the Count, the Countess and Isolier. Rossini writes wonderful music for his three stars here in a scene that is both sexy and sexually ambivalent. After all, the Count is pretending to be a nun and we all know that Isolier is really a woman.

This is Rossini's last comedy. The dressing up is reminiscent of the Barber of Seville although the plot is much more straightforward. There are also signs that Rossini is striving for a more varied musical style with his trade mark crescendi notable by their absence. He does end the first act with one of his intricate sextets but the surprising thing is that it is mostly a cappella.

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