I watched this version of The Barber of Seville last night. It’s the brightly colored one from the ROH from 2009, where Joyce DiDonato broke her foot and sang from a wheelchair.
It’s one of those performances that reveal, for me at least, the limits of how interesting Rossini is.
Here’s DiDonato singing “una voce poco fa”:
Listening to DiDonato sing this role is a thrill from beginning to end (and the rest of the cast are no slouches either) but while I’ve had this DVD for a while, I’ve watched it only twice, and one of those times was because a friend wanted to see it. So, maybe two and an eighth times if you count repeats of the good bits. It’s charming and funny and extremely well executed, even with JDD in a wheelchair (with a pink cast to match her costume) but I think I have limits with Il Barbiere. This is one of those performances that I want to say wow! and awesome! and all that because it is, and judging by the noise at the end the Covent Garden audience came to the same conclusion, but still, this is not an opera that I zone out thinking about. I’d go to see it live if the cast was anything like this, but I’m not sure I’m going to be scouring the library shelves this week for additional iterations of it.