28 Feb-9 Mar 2005. Conducted by Daniele Gatti, directed by Luca Ronconi, with Juan Diego Florez, Bruno De Simone, Joyce Di Donato.

Anyone who missed Rossinis Il Barbiere di Siviglia this summer at the Rossini Opera Festival (ROF) in Pesaro can catch it now at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna (28 Feb-9 March). Director Luca Ronconi presents the classic ploy of a theatre within a theatre, but with the rules and conventions completely turned on their heads: when the Conte dAlmaviva feigns drunkenness it is not he who staggers, for example, but the furniture which rises and falls to the rhythm of the music. Conducting the orchestra is Daniele Gatti, who caused some controversy at the ROF in August: his interpretations can appear too studied, but they are elegant nevertheless and attentive to the smallest detail of the score. The vocal cast is a line-up of the finest current Rossinian voices. There is Juan Diego Florez as the Count, who manages the acutes, agilit and mezzevoci without difficulty; there is Joyce Di Donato, a likeable and high-spirited Rosina in both song and scene, and there are Bruno De Simone (Bartolo) and Natale De Carolis (Basilio), precise interpreters and exact singers. The cast is that of the Pesaro production, except that George Petean now plays Figaro. Paolo de Nicola

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Address Teatro Comunale, tel. 051529946.

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Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini.

Teatro Comunale, tel. 051529946.