Although I don't doubt the sincerity of the 2006 reviewer's opinion about this version of Rossini's "Barber of Seville", I would suspect that he has absolutely no insight/ knowledge, or appreciation of opera, especially comic opera. In other words, it's hard for me to imagine that anyone with even a smattering of interest, or enthusiasm, for opera could not recognize the very high level of this performance. The acting, the singing, the orchestration, the staging, the filming are all first rate. I think that this is Kathleen Battle's finest performance on film, and I was thrilled to hear that Deutsche Gramaphone is planning to re-release it on DVD sometime in the future.
As for Eve E's comments from Sweden (11-19-07), I'm stuck having to try to absorb a 2nd negative assessment of Kathleen Battle's performance (which I found thrilling, enchanting, and perfectly pitched). I suspect, though, that Battle's notorious off-stage antics (which are suggested by Eve ) colored her appraisal of Battle's on-stage theatrical brilliance. What Eve E. calls "overacting" is actually the impeccably nuanced and exaggerated emphasis which Battle gives to Rosina's flirtatiousness (with Count Almaviva), and her tender, but coy, pouts which are addressed to the ridiculous nature of the marriage proposal directed her way by her aged guardian. Without her sly smiles, batting eyelashes, etc. the comic effect of the opera would be lost.
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