Rossini: Semiramide ***
Opera di Firenze, Florence, 29th September 2016
The production photos look good. Italian director Luca Ronconi, who died last year, had an eye for a striking image. His 2011 production of Rossini’s Semiramide at Naples’ Teatro San Carlo, staged here at Opera di Firenze by Marina Bianchi and Marie Lambert, is aesthetically handsome, drawing on Classical antiquity. In the very first scene, the high priest Oroe addresses the priests of Baal from atop a column before a backdrop of cracked marble. But the action is often merely a set of friezes, singers immobilised on a pair of moving plinths: Rossini as a game of musical statues.
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