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Not that Rossini can easily be put down, and Fo must just forgive me if I prefer further viewings with eyes closed. Musically Rossini is on top form at curtain-up, when Alberto (Charles Workman in search of a wife), Agata Bienkowska as Madame La Rose and Simón Orfila's played-out Traversen expound their aims to the chorus [watch and listen -- DVD1 chapter 7, 25:45-27:00]. The subject of the advertisement is the Lisetta of Cinzia Forte, who thwarts her father by falling in love with Filippo, owner of the hotel where they're staying. She knows exactly what she's after and has the strength of character to get it [watch and listen -- DVD1 chapter 9, 32:38-33:37].

Marisa Martins as Doralice in Act 1 of Dario Fo's 'La Gazzetta'. © 2005 Opus Arte/Gran Teatre del Liceu/Mediapro
Marisa Martins as Doralice in Act 1 of Dario Fo's 'La Gazzetta'. © 2005 Opus Arte/Gran Teatre del Liceu/Mediapro

As Doralice (almost a combination of the dupes in Mozart's Così) Marisa Martins is also at the hotel and ogled mainly by Traversen. Some might think, perhaps, that she spends too much time playing with cocks during her aria [watch and listen -- DVD1 chapter 11, 48:10-49:16]. In conclusion it must be said that no director can stifle the élan of a Rossini finale, any more than any conductor or orchestra can fail to relish every note as the whole company lets fly at maximum voltage [watch and listen -- DVD1 chapter 15, 73:21-74:59]. If Fo tries yet harder in Act 2, it is your sense of humour that must be the ultimate judge, not mine.

Copyright © 20 September 2006 Robert Anderson, London UK


Gioachino Rossini: La Gazzetta

OA 0953 D 1xDVD9 + 1xDVD5 16/9 Anamorphic, All Regions LPCM Stereo, Digital DTS Surround NEW RELEASE 155' 2005 Opus Arte/Gran Teatre del Liceu/Mediapro, 2006 Opus Arte

Cinzia Forte, Lisetta; Bruno Praticò, Don Pomponio; Pietro Spagnoli, Filippo; Charles Workman, Alberto; Agata Bienkowska, Madame La Rose; Marisa Martins, Doralice; Simón Orfila, Monsù Traversen; Marc Canturri, Anselmo; Intermezzo Choir; Orchestra Academy of the Gran Teatre del Liceu; Maurizio Barbacini, musical director; Dario Fo, director, set and costume designer; Franco Marri, lighting; Angel Luis Ramirez, TV director; Angel Alvarez Rilla, TV producer; James Whitbourn, DVD producer

Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868): La Gazzetta (1816), dramma giocoso in two acts, with libretto by Giuseppe Palomba, after the novel 'Il matrimonio per concorso' by Carlo Goldoni. Live recording from the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona in 2005. Extra features: Interview with Dario Fo; Illustrated synopsis; Cast gallery


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