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It is a delectable work, source of much innocuous pleasure in an increasingly naughty world. EuroArts has captured from the Schwetzingen Festival of 1992 a performance of bubbling vitality originally staged by Michael Hampe with style and panache for the opera houses of Cologne and Montpellier. The cast can melt us with Rossini's cantilena, but at the end I resembled most the Cheshire cat, with only a grateful smile remaining for such quick-witted accomplishment. The orchestra responds to the genial direction of Gianluigi Gelmetti (I could wish we saw more of his expressive face) with zest and every sign of committed enjoyment.

Gianluigi Gelmetti conducting the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart. Screenshot © 1992 Schwetzinger Festspiele/SWR/Maran Film GmbH/NVC Arts International
Gianluigi Gelmetti conducting the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart. Screenshot © 1992 Schwetzinger Festspiele/SWR/Maran Film GmbH/NVC Arts International

 

Copyright © 28 June 2006 Robert Anderson, London UK

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Rossini: L'occasione fa il ladro

2054998 DVD9 NTSC 4:3 Worldwide PCM Stereo / DD5.1 / DTS 5.1 94' Schwetzinger Festspiele/SWR/Maran Film GbmH/NVC Arts International 1992, EuroArts Music International GmbH 2006

Stuart Kale, Don Eusebio; Susan Patterson, Berenice; Robert Gambill, Conte Alberto; Natale de Carolis, Don Parmenione; Monica Bacelli, Ernestina; Alessandro Corbelli, Martino; Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart; Gianluigi Gelmetti, conductor; Michael Hampe, staging and design; Carlo Diappi, costumes; Claus Viller, TV director; Elmar Kruse, DVD executive producer

Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868): L'occasione fa il ladro (Opportunity Makes the Thief, comic opera in one act, libretto by Luigi Prividali, 1812), recorded live at the Rokokotheater, Schwetzingen, Germany, 1-3 May 1992

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Classical Music Programme Notes for concerts and recordings, by Malcolm Miller