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Cavalca's costumes are a mixture of 20th century and 18th century with a streak of Spanish inspiration, all within the same bright palate of colours. Count Almaviva's outfit is a remarkable vermilion red suit with a bright yellow ruffled shirt.

Toby Spence as Count Almaviva. Photo © Bill Cooper
Toby Spence as Count Almaviva. Photo © Bill Cooper

Rossini's comedy is not naturalistic and has its roots in commedia dell'arte so Leiser and Caurier's approach works very well as they created their own stylised world for the characters. There is much physical comedy in the production. This is tricky as there is a danger that the applied physical comedy will take over and leave no room for the singers' characterisation. It says much for the discipline of Leiser and Caurier and their talented cast that the physical comedy rarely degenerated into pure slapstick and comedy of character always dominated.

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Copyright © 16 January 2006 Robert Hugill, London UK


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