Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rossini opera has laughs and truths

‘Le Comte Ory’ will screen live in HD in Hailey

Juan Diego Flórez plays the title role of Count Ory in Gioachino Antonio Rossini’s comedic opera “Le Comte Ory.” Photo by Micaela Rossato/Metropolitan Opera

Gioachino Antonio Rossini wrote his final comic opera, "Le Comte Ory," which premiered at the Paris Opera in 1828. "Le Comte Ory" is a funny tale about young Count Ory and his knights, who find their way into a French convent during the Crusades.

"Le Comte Ory" will screen on Saturday, April 9, at 11 a.m. at the Big Wood 4 Cinemas in Hailey as part of the series "The Met: Live in HD." Tickets for the presentation can be purchased at the theater box office.

Tickets are $22 for general admission, $20 for seniors and $18 for students 18 and under. Sun Valley Opera has made arrangements with Rasberrys to provide box lunches to patrons for $12, which will be delivered at intermission. For details, call 928-7711.

< The Met's new production of "Le Comte Ory" includes new staging by Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher. In addition, the production features three extraordinary bel canto stars, Juan Diego Flórez, Diana Damrau and Joyce DiDonato. Maurizio Benini conducts.

This season, the Met is presenting its first-ever performances of the opera, in which a scheming young count, Flórez, vies for the love of the lonely Countess Adèle Damrau. Renée Fleming, who stars in the Live in HD transmission of "Capriccio" on April 23, is the HD host for "Le Comte Ory" and will interview the opera's stars.

The New York Times called "Le Comte Ory" "one of Rossini's wittiest and most seamless and sophisticated works" and applauded Sher's "lively, colorful and inventive production."

Reviewing the opening of the new production, an Associated Press critic said the performance "sparkles ... with a brilliant cast of bel canto specialists. ... Flórez reveled in the title role's pyrotechnical challenges, including many excursions up to high C and above. ... Damrau stopped the show with the coloratura fireworks in her entrance aria and proved a consistent, sweet-toned delight. ... DiDonato sang Isolier with luxuriant tone and dazzling agility."

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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