Il viaggio a Reims – Rossini Opera Festival

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Every year at ROF the students of the Accademia Rossiniana perform Il viaggio a Reims, which, with its plethora of characters, all of more or less the same importance, is a perfect choice, for the best young singers, to make themselves known. This review is for the performance of August 12.

The production, by Emilio Sagi, has been the same since 2001, it is extremely simple and really cute. The action is in a sort of wellness center of a hotel, so all the hotel guests are in a white bathrobe, while the hotel staff is in white t-shirt and pants. All in white, with white chairs, against a blue background. That’s it. When finally it looks like the guests are going to Reims (spoiler alert: they don’t) everybody gets dressed, on stage, with evening frocks and suits in modern fashion. In this scene they all end up in their underwear, but they are all young singers, so the scene is not offensive 🙂

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The orchestra was not exciting, it seems to me that the conductor Gabriel Bebeselea just “played the notes”, with a somewhat passive accompaniment of the singers. Maybe it was also the unfair comparison with the great Mariotti of the evening before, but really, the orchestra just didn’t do anything for me.

Here is the list of all singers:

  • Corinna: Lucrezia Drei,
  • Marchesa Melibea: Aurora Faggioli,
  • Contessa di Folleville: Marina Monzó,
  • Madama Cortese: Larissa Alice Wissel,
  • Cavalier Belfiore: Xabier Anduaga,
  • Conte di Libenskof: Yasuhiro Yamamoto,
  • Lord Sidney: Ogulcan Yilmaz,
  • Don Profondo: Gianluca Lentini,
  • Barone di Trombonok: William Hernández,
  • Don Alvaro: Maharram Huseynov,
  • Don Prudenzio: Shuxin Li,
  • Don Luigino: Yusuke Kobori,
  • Delia: Eleonora Bellocci,
  • Maddalena: Diana Volkova,
  • Modestina: Sara Bañeras,
  • Zefirino/Gelsomino: Alfonso Zambuto,
  • Antonio: Stefano Marchisio

Special mention

reims6Here in Pesaro, the aficionados play the game of “who’s next”, which means that we try to guess who, among the singers in Il viaggio a Reims  will make it big. My vote goes to the tenor Xabier Anduaga, who, as Cavalier Belfiore, really gave a good performance. He has a strong, powerful voice, very high, a bit in the nose, but not too much. If his voice gets a bit more robust and confident, with age, he really could become a great Rossini tenor. The only comparison I will make with Juan Diego Florez is to say that Anduaga’s legs are much nicer.

I also enjoyed Lucrezia Drei as Corinna. Her voice is not obvious, she has a good coloratura, but most of all this lady has spunk. Good personality. During the duet with Anduaga, whose music is the same as in Le Comte Ory, I realized I wouldn’t mind at all to see a Comte Ory with these two leads.

Monzó e Wissel, as the Contessa di Folleville, and Madama Cortese, were highly praised by the audience with great applause. They are both very good, but I found them a bit uncharacterized, a bit anonymous. All the others were good, precise, very enjoyable, with a few exceptions, which I will be silent about.

It was a very fun show!

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