Video Reviews 623
published by the Rossini Foundation in Foppa, inventively displays delightful use of
Pesaro, incorporating an autograph discov- double-entendre and effectively demon-
ered in Sweden, making this production a strates Rossini’s fully developed and outra-
landmark in Rossini videography. geous opera-buffa style. This work is the di-
Next, L’occasione fa il ladro was Rossini’s rect conduit to L’italiana in Algeri. Michael
ﬁfth opera premiere in 1812 and although Hampe stages the opera at the time and lo-
legend implies that it was written in eleven cation of its original setting, culminating in
days, this production reveals the opera’s an appealing, lively production. Amelia
outstanding construction, expressive Felle and David Kuebler deliver the best
melodic language and subtle character de- singing, exhibiting excellent coloratura.
lineation. This is a striking production. The This unique collection of one-act come-
attractive sets and costumes are consistent dies from Rossini’s early output ﬁlls a sig-
with the locale and period. Michael niﬁcant void in the sparse video collection
Hampe’s direction is sensible and straight- of composer’s works. The performance
forward and is the perfect vehicle for the quality is exquisitely consistent within the
ﬁne cast that has been assembled. The pro- collection and the pricing is attractive,
duction, a collaboration between the Oper thereby making it an excellent acquisition.
der Stadt Köln and the Opéra de Mont-
pellier, displays the fruit of the collabora-
tive musical labors of Hampe and Gelmetti.
Finally, Il signor Bruschino, the last Rossini Eldonna L. May
farsa and his third collaboration with Wayne State University
Franz Schubert. Alfonso und Estrella. DVD. Nikolaus Harnoncourt /
Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Arnold Schoenberg Choir. With Luba
Orgonasova, Thomas Hampson, Endrik Wottrich, Olaf Bär, Alfred Muff.
Stage direction by Jürgen Flimm. Canada: Naxos, 2009, 1997. 2.110260.
It is one of my favorite questions to ask a “miserable, still-born, bungling piece of
when I teach a course on the history of work that even so great a genius as Schu-
opera: name one composer of German bert was not able to bring it to life”
opera between Weber and Wagner. I can’t (Elizabeth Norman McKay, Franz Schubert:
remember a single time when a student A Biography [Oxford: Oxford University
came up with a correct answer—probably Press, 1996], 118). The plot, which McKay
because the names of Spohr, Lortzing, and has related to Shakespeare’s As You Like It,
Marschner do not lie in the core of the involves a number of conventional charac-
operatic canon. When Schubert’s name