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L’occasione fa il ladro (‘Opportunity Makes a Thief’) was composed by the young Rossini in just eleven days, working alongside his librettist Luigi Prividali. The tale presents a comedy of multiple confusions in one act. Count Alberto, travelling to marry a fiancée he has yet to meet, leaves an inn with the wrong suitcase. Left holding the Count’s papers and possessions, Don Parmenione audaciously adopts Alberto’s identity intent on taking the bride for himself. Jochen Schönleber’s acclaimed production adapts Rossini’s swift and deftly plotted moral drama to give present-day relevance to Rossini’s exuberant ensemble burletta.
This recording is part of our ongoing series of releases covering productions from the Rossini in Wildbad bel canto opera festival, in this case from their 2017 season. This DVD/Blu-ray release compliments the CD release from 2012 (866031415), also conducted by Antonino Fogliani, and considered by Opera News to be ‘first-class … [Fogliani] propels the ensembles with style and rhythmic lift and lets the cantilenas “breathe”.’
This 2017 production received much critical acclaim. Diapason wrote: ‘Making the singers play like actors, Jochen Schönleber shows the same lightness of touch, the same humour, in a very close setting, with this rectangle animated by very beautiful lighting – it is the kind of work where it is not necessary to overdo it’.
NMZ kiz-nachtrichten praised the cast: ‘Lorenzo Regazzo is a fabulous singer who also takes care of bel canto qualities... As Don Parmenione, he can shine as a comedian. At his side is Kenneth Tarver, another experienced bel canto singer, as the real Conte Alberto. The young soprano Vera Talerko, who plays Berenice, is already more than a great talent. This is one of the typical discoveries that one can make again and again in Wildbad.’
- Don Eusebio: Patrick Kabongo (tenor)
- Berenice: Vera Talerko (soprano)
- Conte Alberto: Kenneth Tarver (tenor)
- Don Parmenione: Lorenzo Regazzo (bass)
- Ernestina: Giada Frasconi (mezzo-soprano)
- Martino: Roberto Maietta (baritone)
Stage director & set designer: Jochen Schönleber
Choreographer: Matteo Marziano Graziano
Costume designer: Claudia Möbius
Lighting designer: Michael Feichtmeier, Jochen Schönleber