Stage Director Laurent Pelly returns to Lyon for a new production of Rossini’s Le Comte Ory that transforms an exotic hermit from Palestine into an Indian guru, and a young medieval countess into an uptight bourgeoise. Music Director Stefano Montanari leads the Orchestra of the Opéra de Lyon in Rossini's rollicking score, while Dmitry Korchak (Le Comte Ory), Désirée Rancatore (La Comtesse Adèle), and Antoinette Dennefeld (Isolier) invite hilarity at every turn as the bumbling triangle of lovers.
The 1828 Le Comte Ory, Rossini’s ribald penultimate opera, is a mixture of comedy, tragedy, and absurdity. The composer refashions music written for Charles X’s coronation to set Eugène Scribe’s hilarious medieval farce which draws inspiration from a centuries-old ballad. The original ballad speaks of a certain Comte Ory, a “fearsome” lord, who prefers romantic conquest to military campaigns. The operatic re-interpretation narrates events that take place in a small town while the Lord de Formoutiers is away on crusade in Palestine. In his absence, the young Count Ory leads his own crusade on the home front, trying to seduce de Fourmoutiers’s sister, the Countess Adèle. Determined and imaginative (to say the least), Count Ory’s embarks on a series of disguises and hilarious antics that make for endlessly entertaining comic opera set to some of Rossini’s very best music.
Photo: © Bertrand Stofleth