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--Standard Repertory--

By Gioacchino Rossini

VIDEO: There was a color film made in the fifties with Tito Gobbi (Figaro) and Giulietta Simionato (Rosina); quite enjoyable, though with a considerable amount of dialogue replacing some of the music; if one could acquire a video of this, it might be worthwhile. [G.R.]

Meanwhile, GinoQuilico, Cecilia Bartoli, David Kuebler, Carlos Feller; Ferro conducting; [RCA] BMG 61217; $14.95(?) (or is that the price? ambiguity in Tower Records guide [G.R.])

[Maria Callas's captivating rendition of Rosina's aria ("Una voce poco fa") is available in EMI's release of her Paris Gala debut featuring Act II Tosca--see below] [G.R.]

AUDIO: A) EMI: Tito Gobbi, Maria Callas, Luigi Alva, Galliera conducting; Spritely, stylish performance with three expert comedians to the "manner" born; performing edition heavily edited and trimmed [G.R.]

B) NAXOS: Roberto Servile, Sonia Gonassi, Ramon Vargas, Angelo Romero, Humburg conducting (1992); Unusually complete recording, for once featuring three solid principals with Rossini's original title role (he first entitled his opera Il Conte Almaviva) taken by a genuine primo tenore; the conducting is lovely (what I have heard so far...) and this set is also a steal on the budget label Naxos. [G.R.]

C) MUSIC MEMORIA: Riccardo Stracciari, Mercedes Capsir, Dino Borgioli, Salvatore Baccaloni, Molajoli conducting (ca. 1930); Stracciari is the finest Figaro available, but his maestro, Molajoli, is strictly routine, and his colleagues are not so consistent as in A and B; one glorious exception: Baccaloni's expert Dottor Bartolo; only fair mono sound [G.R.]

For Further Reading:

The Barber of Seville and Moses (Opera Guide, No 36), by Giacomo Rossini

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