Rossini - The Early Operas
As a very young man, Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) wrote several humorous one-act operas. These so-called “farse giocose“ are full of saucy elegance, sizzling wittiness, cheeky orchestration and touching lyricism. Four of these gems, filmed at the Schwetzingen Festival, have been released as a boxed set of four DVDs – making for a perfect Christmas present. The witty stagings of these musical comedies were performed in the jewel-like Rococo Theatre in Schwetzingen Palace, which was built in 1752. The small stage provided a perfect background for opera director Michael Hampe’s elegant mise-en-scène in which he maintained the light musical touch of these “joyous farces”. As for the recordings, the staging transfers perfectly to the screen and the cast of principals, led by Alessandro Corbelli, Alberto Rinaldi and David Kuebler and supported by the flexible Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra under Gianluigi Gelmetti ensures musical excellence. Rossini’s first operas already display all the elements that would take the music world by storm in Il barbiere di Siviglia, L’italiana in Algeri and La Cenerentola in the years to come: melodic inventiveness, ingenious connections between song lines and orchestral accompaniment, musical humour and breathtakingly fast parlando singing. The sparkling and quick-witted La cambiale di matrimonio was Rossini’s first staged opera and L’occasione fa il ladro, a farce about arranged marriages, role reversals and other amorous confusions is, in musical terms, by far the most riotous of these operatic jewels. Together with La scala di seta and Il signor Bruschin, this set of one-act operas is a milestone in the developing Rossini videography - now available in an attractive box.
Il signor Bruschino; La cambiale di matrimonio; L’occasione fa il ladro; La scala di seta