The other highpoint of the festival was not surprising revival of one of the ROF’s feeblest productions - LluisPasqual’s „Le Comte Ory Ory”, in which only the elegant Comtesse of Spanish soprano María José Moreno really distinguished herself - but the extraordinary orchestral concert with Ewa Podleś at the Teatro Rossini on August 16, during which the Polish contralto cast into the shade all the other female singers in this year’s festival with her supremely individual voice and personality (displayed in Haydn’s „Arianna a Nasso” and a couple of Rossini arias). It was a profoundly moving display of technical and expressive mastery, employed with equal cogency in both tragedy and comedy, greeted with fanatical enthusiasm by an audience once again well able to distinguish real theatrical talent from mere window-dressing.

October 2009

by Stephen Hastings