Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Opera at the amphitheater

Instead of watching the semifinal Uruguay-Holland, we chose a more cultural alternative, and went to see "The Barber of Seville" at the Cascine amphitheater yesterday. Cascine is a rather large park (one of the few in Florence) that stretches along the Arno from downtown to near our apartment. It's nothing special, and I had never heard of any events taking place in the amphitheater, but it seemed like a nice evening activity. The opera was a production of the Teatro Comunale, where we had seen several pieces before, and it did not disappoint. Billed as a "low-cost" performance, it might have been lacking in fancy sets, a big choir on stage, or super-titles, but certainly not in ideas or humor. This started during the overture, which was staged as a rather bumpy train ride, in rhythm to Rossini's music. The young cast -- Enea Scala as the Count of Almaviva, Salvatore Salvaggio as Don Bartolo, Stephanie Lewis as Rosina, and Mauro Bonfanti as Figaro -- sang well (with the discreet amplification helping to lift their voices above the orchestra in this open air venue). In the end, it was a nice balmy evening with some very good entertainment.

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