Notes and Editorial Reviews
The spectacular trio of Juan Diego Flórez, Diana Damrau and Joyce DiDonato ensures that Rossini’s final comic opera, Le Comte Ory, makes an impact in its first-ever production at New York’s Metropolitan Opera.
With Juan Diego Flórez in the title role of Rossini’s sometimes risqué comic opera, Le Comte Ory, Diana Damrau as his love interest, Countess Adèle, and Joyce DiDonato in breeches as his pageboy Isolier, vocal and theatrical fireworks are guaranteed. Spring 2011 brought the first-ever performances at New York’s Metropolitan Opera of Rossini’s final comic opera, Le Comte Ory. Written for Paris in 1828, the piece is musically refined, yet shamelessly and hilariously farcical in its plot devices. It tells the story of a libidinous and cunning nobleman who disguises himself first as a hermit and then as a nun (‘Sister Colette’) in order to gain access to the virtuous Countess Adèle, whose brother is away at the Crusades.
The production is by the Tony Award-winning Broadway director Bartlett Sher, who in recent years has also staged Il barbiere di Siviglia and Les Contes d’Hoffmann for the Met. It presents the action as an opera within an opera, updating the action by a few centuries and giving the costume designer, Catherine Zuber, the opportunity to create some particularly extravagant headgear.
Conducted with verve and finesse by Rossini specialist Maurizio Benini, the production also features the stylish French baritone Stéphane Degout as Ory’s bibulous conspirator Raimbaud (quite a change from his previous Met role – Debussy’s gentle Pélleas), charismatic Italian bass Michele Pertusi as the Count’s long-suffering Tutor, and, formidable as Adèle’s housekeeper Ragonde, the Swedish dramatic mezzo Susanne Resmark.