Ponelle’s Cenerentola

There’s been a fair amount of discussion of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s film version of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito over at The Earworm so I thought it would be a good time to dig out his La Scala production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola.  They have a lot in common; an obsession with statuary and heavy focus on verticality that makes the picture often seem taller than it is wide are just two.  The Rossini, despite being filmed at La Scala is very filmic.  It’s much more like a movie than a video recording of a staged performance.  Continue reading

Idomeneo at the Met

The 1982 Metropolitan Opera recording of Mozart’s Idomeneo will likely please those who like their Mozart on the well done side.  The story telling is straightforward (though there are some design quirks), the orchestra is big, the tempi are not too sprightly and the vocal talent is starry if not especially Mozartian.  To reinforce this James Levine has made a number of cuts and interpolations from different early performances to structure things a bit more like a grand opera and less like a tragédie lyrique. Continue reading