Recorded at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in June 2004, this Le nozze di Figaro was unanimously acclaimed by public and critics alike as a Mozart opera landmark. Director Jean-Louis Martinoty brings an elegantly intelligent narrative sense to an interpretation in which the protagonists, against a backdrop of magnificent canvases of 18th-century inspiration, are dressed by Sylvie de Segonzac in a palette in which every shade is perfect. Hans Schavernoch’s set suggests an elitist society that is coming apart at the seams. René Jacobs’s conducting of Concerto Köln is meticulous and perfectly balanced, offering a ravishing use of tonal colour and orchestral dynamics. A veteran Almaviva, the excellent PiteroRead more Spagnoli plays opposite Annette Dasch’s beauteous Countess. As Figaro and Susanna, Luca Pisaroni and Rosemary Joshua are a truly sparkling couple, while mezzo Angelika Kirchschlager embodies the most divinely troubling of Cherubino. The exceptional quality of this production, and the great success encountered by its first edition, inevitably led to the remastering in high-definition of this program, now and for the first time also available on Blu-ray.
Everything about this production is excellent, so much so that is quickly become my favourite DVD version, and not just among the period performances, it not only offers an excellent singing cast, but it is well acted with all the participants actually looking the part as well as comfortable in bringing out he humour in their roles, something that some performances forget. If you are looking for a well sung performance of this masterpiece, one that is sympathetic to the spirit of the opera, well look no further.