ROF – 2017

The Rossini Opera Festival has published the detailed program for 2017. We already knew which operas would be part of the festival, and now we know everything. Here are my first random impressions.

Le siège de Corinthe

The conductor is Roberto Abbado, a rock. New production by La fura dels baus, and I am terrified, after the ROH Norma. We’ll see.


Mahomet: Alex Esposito. Never heard him live, but I will soon, as Assur in Semiramide, in Munich. If he can pull off Assur in such a prestigious house, I’m not worried.

Pamyra: Nino Machaidze. Lots of haters, but I like her! Happy!

Adraste: Xabier Anduaga. I knew it!! He sang in Il viaggio a Reims in ROF 2016, and he was my pick for the one that “would make it”. We’ll see if he makes it, but at least he made it to a major production at ROF 2017.

Ismene: Cecilia Molinari. Another former student at the Accademia Rossiniana, I already heard her in Il turco in Italia at ROF 2016, and I got a very good impression.

Abbado, Esposito, Machaidze, Molinari, Anduaga

La pietra del paragone

The conductor is Daniele Rustioni, the very young chief of the Orchestra della Toscana.  He has conducted operas in many important opera houses, so I have good hopes.

2002 production by Pier Luigi Pizzi, modern clothes, this one:

I am a bit worried. We’ll see.


Baronessa Aspasia: Aurora Faggioli. Another member of the Accademia, who I heard in Il viaggio a Reims at ROF 2016. She was singing Marchesa Melibea, and she did a very good job, even if she wasn’t one of the few who I found exciting.

Donna Fulvia: Marina Monzó. Once again, somebody who came out of Il viaggio a Reims 2016. She was the Contessa di Folleville, really good, even if a bit boring.

Conte Asdrubale: Luca Pisaroni. No less!! I love his voice. Heard him as Figaro (Mozart) at the ROH. He is amazing.

Rustioni, Faggioli, Monzò, Pisaroni

Torvaldo e Dorliska

One of the more obscure Rossini operas, I will be very happy to get to know this one too. The conductor is Francesco Lanzillotta, an Italian rising star. The production is the same as in ROF 2006, which looks traditional, on youtube.


Duca d’Ordow: Marko Mimica. I heard him in La donna del lago at ROF 2016, and I didn’t like him very much.Screamer.

Dorliska: Salome Jicia. She was Elena in La donna del lago. She was a bit young, let’s see if her voice matured.

Torvaldo: Dmitri Korchak. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. He screams as if there was no tomorrow.

Lanzillotta, Jicia, Mimica, Korchak


Luca Pisaroni: This will be great, I’m sure.

Margarita Gritskova: This is Carmen-Tancredi! Look at her here:

Her voice, to be honest, doesn’t sound bad at all. But I’m not sure I can take a whole afternoon of Carmen singing Rossini. Especially if she ends every aria like that.

Ildar Abdrazakov: YES BABY!! The only sad part is that he’s singing only in a concert and not in an opera. Why, Ildar?

Ildar Abdrazakov

Tenori: an afternoon with John Irving, Sergey Romanovsky and Michael Spyres. I have good hopes for this one.

Stabat Mater

As much as I adore the Stabat Mater, I don’t think I can take Erwin Schrott AND Dmitri Korchak in the same evening. The two women are Salome Jicia and Enkelejda Shkosa, not enough to change my mind.


Am I going? Of course I’m going! I would be going no matter what.



  1. I’ve seen Alex Esposito singing in ROF twice and he is wonderful – a voice to die for as well as a brilliant actor.

    Nino Machaidze I saw live singing Juliette at ROH as well as on dvd in La Boheme and I Puritani. She has a very ‘pure’ voice and winning personality, throwing herself wholeheartedly into her roles.
    Both will be huge successes at ROF in 2017, I’m certain.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pisaroni as Count Asdrubale! That will be so much fun 😀 I’d love to see him in that. But he needs a really funny (not just good singer) contralto to spar with. You shouldn’t fear the Pizzi production, he hasn’t been cutting edge in about 30 years. I think that production used to be on YT, I’ve seen a bit of it a while back.

    I like Machaidze’s Puritani as well. Why do people hate her?

    I’ve seen Esposito both as Figaro (Mozart) and Leporello (twice!) and Mozart-wise I’d pass a fourth time. But he might be different in Rossini. Mostly his personality sort of ticks me off. He seems a bit of a “dude”.

    People say La Gritskova did quite well last month as Ruggiero in Alcina, so she might surprise you. Then again, Handel, Rossini, staged operas, concerts… who knows.

    Liked by 1 person

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