Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia (in English)

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

LABELS: Chandos
WORKS: Il barbiere di Siviglia (in English)
PERFORMER: Bruce Ford, Della Jones, Alan Opie, Andrew Shore; English National Opera Chorus & Orchestra/Gabriele Bellini
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 3025(2) Reissue (1995)
Heard live, the ENO revival upon which this recording was based was a memorable and terrific show. But on disc, it’s disappointingly lifeless, lacking the fizz, the wit and the exuberance that make it not just Rossini’s most celebrated work but the quintessential opera buffa. It therefore falls some way short of the many outstanding Italian-language recordings in the catalogue. Della Jones is a warm and winning Rosina, but she’s never in the same league as Bartoli, Battle, Baltsa, de los Angeles or Callas. Alan Opie, too, turns in a creditable performance, but again, he’s no Gobbi, Domingo or Nucci. Only Bruce Ford, a truly outstanding Rossinian by any standards, really holds his own as the Count. Claire Wrathall