On Friday night I joined a packed house at La Scala – the scene for the last minute seats at the box office was crazy, people cheering as they got their tickets and waving them jubilantly – to see the second last performance of Rossin’s Il Viaggio a Reims. My dear friend Opera Chic has written in her trademark style about the opening night and I have little I can add to her already insightful writing. Luca Ronconi’s much traveled production is still a major delight and it seems that each new generation is able to field a cast to do it and Rossini’s joyous piece d’occasion justice. I was particularly delighted to see Daniella Barcelona once again – she is becoming one of my favorites, I’m hoping to see her in L’Italiana in Algeri in Trieste next month.
A while back my friend Parsi posted this legendary encore from the 1992 Pesaro Festival production.
In response to the ecstatic bravos of the audience at the end of that performance Claudio Abbado led his exceptional forces in an encore of one of the big ensemble pieces. The singers – some of the great Rossini singers of the time – just let go and had fun with the whole thing.
Though we didn’t get an encore Friday evening the cheering that greeted the walk around curtain calls went on for a good 10 minutes. An evening of great theatre, great fun and some exceptional singing.
13 maggio – Nostra Signora di Fatima