Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Brunch – Le Nozze di Figaro: Sull' Aria

This 1973 Glyndebourne performance of Le Nozze di Figaro is, in my humble opinion, one of the best "traditional" productions. Video and sound quality are not awesome, and I didn't think I would particularly enjoy Ileana Cortrubas as Susanna. 

But I learned to overlook the quality issues (and everyone making clomping noises on the raked stage), and Cortrubas is great as Susanna.  This performance also captures pre-royal-wedding Kiri Te Kanawa, and Frederica von Stade in her signature role of Cherubino (not included in this clip.) 

Note how the Countess suddenly turns apprehensive on the final "il capirar," as if she is thinking, "OMG, what are we getting ourselves into?"

Susanna & Rosina, plotting again. 


  1. I agree that the picture is "not awesome" but I thought the sound was far worse. My copy had a really "fingernails on blackboard" quality at the high end. It's no mean achievement to convert the gorgeous, if bland, tones of Dame Kiri to something that sounds like a cat in heat.

  2. This was one of the first DVD's I bought; and yes, it is slightly dated and hardly state of the art technically as far as visuals. Fortunately I had no "fingernails on blackboard" sound--even with the Bose sound system I later added. I've always thought that Kiri would have been wise to have spent some time in a German house since she has expressed her qualms about singing in German! Ironic when you consider that her Marchallin, Madeline and Arabella are signature roles.


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