If I had to recommend to someone who had never seen an opera an opera film, it would be this one. Here's what it has going for it: 1) It's a short opera, more the length of a feature film 2) The music is easy to assimilate, no difficult harmonics here 3) It's funny 4) the cast is excellent.
Hermann Prey is a great Figaro, and most of this cast is terrific.
This is a usually showpiece opera for sopranos, but Teresa Berganza is upstaged by the two villains, Enzo Dara and Paolo Montarsolo, who are nothing short of delightful in their blustering incompetence. Luigi Alva sings with style and flair, and you get to see the young Claudio Abbado with 70's hair leading members of the La Scala Orchestra.
A couple of points for new listeners: Rossini's music features two things that you'll hear a lot in this opera: 1) vocal ornamentation, where the singer will put a lot of "frills" on the notes and 2) the music will often be increasing in volume (Rossini is noted for his"crescendos")
If you liked this one, you'll want to see the other Ponnelle video, "The Marriage of Figaro", also with Hermann Prey as Figaro. I would have recommended "Marriage" instead of "Barber" for beginners, except that the four hour length of "Marriage" might be too much for first timers.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this