A soufflé that fails to rise: Rossini’s Barber falls flat at Covent Garden

Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia **

Royal Opera, 13th September 2016

As a renowned gastronome, Gioachino Rossini could have shown Mary Berry a thing or two in the Great British Bake-Off tent. He had several dishes named in his honour, most famously the mouth-watering Tournedos Rossini, and was even alleged to have composed the aria “Di tanti palpiti” whilst waiting for his rice to cook. When it comes to his music, opera buffa like The Barber of Seville require the gentlest of touches, lightly whipped and fluffy as a soufflé. However, last night the Royal Opera served up the operatic equivalent of stodgy semolina, slapped unceremoniously onto the plate with a trowel.

Vito Priante (Figaro) and Daniela Mack (Rosina) © ROH | Mark Douet

Vito Priante (Figaro) and Daniela Mack (Rosina)
© ROH | Mark Douet

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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