Filmed in April 2001 at the Zurich Opera, this Barber of Seville is by the excellent Rossini. Grischa Asagaroff's direction is full of inspiration and humour: the scenery, a huge fan (naturally since we are in Seville) which swivels facilitating the "production" of gags, and the transposition into the 1930s with the appropriate costumes, side-car and scooter is effective.
Acclaimed by the audience, the conductor Nello Santi, who is at home at the Zurich Opera (he was the musical director there for ten years, 1958-1968) is a Rossinian conductor of great stature who also plays the piano part. But the real jewel in this film is Rosine played by Vesselina Kasarova who is an authentic mezzo-soprano coloratura. A virtuoso musician and perfect actor, she is charm personified. Around her is an excellent distribution and it is a delight to see Nicolaoi Ghiaurov in the role of Basil which he performs with great experience.
Tiziano Severini, Francesca Zambello – Mirella Freni (Mimi), Luciano Pavarotti ténor (Rodolfo) – San Francisco Opera
Riccardo Muti, Hugo de Ana – Barbara Frittoli (Leonora), Violeta Urmana (Azucena), Salvatore Licitra (Manrico) – Teatro alla Scala