Opera Scotland

Inganno felice 2015Raucous Rossini

Read more about the opera Inganno felice

This was a most enjoyable performance of a rare early comedy by Rossini - the sort of delightful evening that makes the continued neglect of these works a matter for astonishment. Composed on an intimate scale - five soloists and 18-piece chamber orchestra), it is not expensive to mount by comparison with many other less-deserving works.

The vocal roles, like all Rossini, give the singers all sorts of technical challenges, met head-on and with complete success by this excellent well-schooled quintet of Conservatoire students. The band, under the expert guidance of Maximilian Fane (also doing keyboard continuo) fizzed and sparkled in true Rossinian style. The entire event projected a sense of infectious enjoyment from the performers that thoroughly cheered the damp and bedraggled crowd that assembled at this intimate parish church in the charming village of Kippen.

All five singers seemed completely at ease with the witty, fast-moving Italian text. Barbara Cole Walton threw off the reams of coloratura with abandon and a lovely sweet tone, coming down to the body of the kirk to give even greater immediacy to her climactic aria. The other four also showed good awareness of Rossinian style. This ranged from high-flying tenorial lyricism from Kieran White and a superb baritone-bass patter duet, among other highlights, from Colin Murray and James Corrigan. Sam Carl brought an appropriately dark-edged tone to the villain.

The production was minimalist, but perfectly adequate. In the understandable absence of the modern distraction (and expense) of supertitles, the audience were given guidance by means of a couple of brief scripted interludes (a memoir and a letter), explaining the plot - an excellent idea, easily jettisoned when they travel to Italy next week.

Raucous Rossini are a new company established by students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. This tour, beginning with two performances in Scotland, moves on to England, then to Italy. They are a self-funded enterprise dedicated to providing first class access to the Rossini style for musicians and audiences alike.

These five early farces by Rossini are delightful works that will repay further investigation. L'inganno is a high quality piece, though different in style - perhaps bunching it with the other four genuine farces is unhelpful, as its plot is rather more serious. And like L'occasione fa il ladro, the last of the five still awaiting a Scottish outing, its overture, though beautiful, is maybe not as obviously catchy as the other three.

Raucous Rossini website here.

Performance Cast

Isabella a Duchess, living in disguise among the miners

Barbara Cole Walton

Tarabotto leader of a community of iron-ore miners

Colin Murray

Duke Bertrando Isabella's husband

Kieran White

Ormondo a follower of the Duke

Sam Carl

Batone Ormondo's henchman

James Corrigan

Performance DatesInganno felice 2015

Map List

Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow | Glasgow

15 Jul, 20.00

Kippen Parish Church | Stirling

17 Jul, 20.00

Englefield Long Gallery | Reading, Berkshire

19 Jul, 20.00

Teatro dei Riuniti | Umbertide

21 Jul, 18.00

Basilica San Salvatore | Spoleto

23 Jul, 18.00

Montone | Perugia

24 Jul, 21.00

Citerna | Scipioni

25 Jul, 21.00

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