|Studio:||BBC / Opus Arte|
Werner Herzog clearly loves dark operatic gestures. This production brings many characteristic Herzog touches to something that might not immediately seem to be his interest--the stylized and elegant music of Rossini. But he and Muti bring it all alive in a way that is totally involving and convincing. Dark, craggy cliffs, caves and a final throne room complete with stalactites predominate--green seems to have been banished from the production but an evocative combination of reds and oranges brings life where needed. It's hard to imagine five better principles--Anderson is light and ethereal, Dupuy agile, the tenors (Blake and Merritt) voraciously compete for top honors, and Surjan is strong as well. The orchestral sound is sharp, well detailed and lively. Altogether a highly effective performance of a romantic drama.