You don’t need to be an opera aficionado to enjoy the recent Metropolitan Opera Live in HD performance of Gioachino Rossini’s Le Comte Ory.
The high-definition (HD) broadcast made it seem like the far-away performers were in the same building with the theatergoers. Regal's 21-screen theater in Lincolnshire had the transmission last Saturday afternoon and plans an encore at 6:30 p.m. April 27.
One of Rossini’s rarely performed works made its debut at the Met last month. The brilliantly conceived production was directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher, whose effort brought great pleasure as those in attendance watched the count’s escapades unravel.
One of the world’s great bel canto tenors, Peruvian Juan Diego Florez, sang the title role on a particular “high” last Saturday. Less than an hour before the opera started, Florez had the chance to hold his newly born daughter in his arms for the first time. Then he made the mad dash to the Met in New York City.
Florez has a unique singing quality and a flair for comedic roles. This performance proved the point.
His colleagues, Diana Damrau as the Countess Adèle and Joyce DiDonato in the trouser role of the count’s page, Isolier, combined their voices and acting talents in a second act trio that was hilarious. Let’s just say that three people groping fully clothed while singing on a bed can have some extremely interesting results.
Le Comte Ory was Rossini’s final comedy opera and premiered at the Paris Opéra in 1828. No doubt the censors at the time might have found fault with the bed scene. However, the French would probably have enjoyed the current production, and I have a feeling now audiences throughout the world will also.
Other reviewers have found fault with various aspects of the Sher production. (Why do critics have to be critical?) Everyone I saw leaving the Regal seemed quite happy. My companion claimed her face muscles were sore because she smiled constantly throughout the production.
Go see the encore and enjoy it. Here’s a link to the Met synopsis.