Also available on Blu-ray
Ottorino Respighi’s La bella dormente nel bosco (‘The Sleeping Beauty’) was originally commissioned by the renowned puppeteer Vittoria Podrecca. The revised version we hear today preserves much of the kaleidoscopic approach and magnified characters and emotions of that original; now enhanced by the composer’s matchless orchestration. This famous story in which the Princess pricks her finger on a spindle and sleeps for centuries until kissed by her Prince is given a magical atmosphere through director Leo Muscato’s colorful staging, and the superb cast of this Teatro Lirico di Cagliari production truly inhabits an enchanted realm.
One of his finest operas, at once ravishingly beautiful and capable, I suspect, of casting its considerable spell on adults and children alike. Angela Nisi makes a fine, silvery-toned Princess...Shoushik Barsoumian does ravishing things with the Blue Fairy’s coloratura. The staging, meanwhile, is a thing of great charm. The whole thing provides some much-needed magic at a time when we really could do with it most. I loved every second of it.