Forced farce: Arden’s Barber opens up shop at Glyndebourne

Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia ***

Danielle de Niese (Rosina) and Björn Bürger (Figaro) © Bill Cooper

Danielle de Niese (Rosina) and Björn Bürger (Figaro)
© Bill Cooper

Glyndebourne Festival, 22nd May 2016

Comedy’s a funny old thing. Rossini and Wagner certainly had rather different approaches to it. The previous night, Glyndebourne Festival opened with Die Meistersinger, a lengthy comedy on a poignant theme, but one not exactly packed with belly laughs. Yet director David McVicar added plenty of comic touches. Rossini’s Barber of Seville, clocking up its 200th anniversary this year, is one of the funniest in the business; a raucous farce to a zinging score. Annabel Arden’s new production, although decently sung and visually striking, is seriously under-directed, allowing forced acting to blunt the humour.

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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