So here’s another Rossini one act farsa from Schwetzingen. It’s a 1990 La scala di seta in, inevitably, a production by Michal Hampe. It’s predictably pretty to look at and well constructed dramaturgically. The Paris background is a nice touch. There’s some fine singing and energetic fooling from Alessandro Corbelli as the servant Germano. The principal quartet of lovers; Luciana Serra, David Kuebler, Jane Bunnel and Alberto Rinaldi backed up by David Griffith as the girls’ guardian are stylish and toss off the various quick fire ensembles with aplomb. Gianluigi Gelmetti and the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart round things out with an equally accomplished reading. So there it is, straightforward Rossini in a typical Hampe production pulled of nicely in Scwetzingen’s elegant rococo theatre.
It seems to be “looking back at older Metropolitan Opera productions” week here in the blogosphere. Over at The Earworm there’s a series of posts on a 1980 production of Don Carlos. Our subject will be the 1991 Die Zauberflöte.
The production was designed by David Hockney and the look varies from the whimsical; the opening scene, to the grandiose; the final scene, with bits of Egyptiana in between. It’s very handsome. The direction is described as “original direction” by John Cox and “direction” by Guus Mostart. I’m not entirely sure what this means as there doesn’t really seem to be a production concept and the Personeregie is pretty basic. Basically it looks like acting is considered to be an optional extra. Some of the singers are good actors and some don’t even try. There’s no consistency. The impression is that the “production” is just a backdrop for the singers to do their thing. Continue reading →