Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia - Berganza, Glossop, Alva, Evans, Rouleau, Bainbridge; Varviso. London, 1967


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For my tastes the star-power in a show like Il Barbiere di Siviglia is a secondary consideration. What is most important is if a cast can coalesce to create the kind of ensemble and synergy that make this opera so infectious. Fortunately in this cast we find a groups of famous singers who achieve just that. As the barber, Peter Glossop is able to convey all of the intelligence and street-smarts as well as deliver some truly astounding vocalism. Teresa Berganza is a delight as Rosina with her earthy mezzo, capable of almost superhuman coloratura. If anyone every wanted a definition of tenore di grazia I would direct them to Luigi Alva. Alva's voice, although light, never comes across as wimpy or unmanly and he was able to both manage dexterous coloratura as we well as some superb lyrical singing. Sir Geraint Evans is an absolute luxury as Bartolo and gives the character a touch of class and nobility in between the requisite bumbling. Silvio Varviso conducts a spirited performance. He pushes the Act I finale about as fast as I have heard it to truly thrilling effect (moments like that need a touch of danger to be exciting!) The sound is excellent.

OD 10889-2

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