OP0859. LE COMTE ORY (Rossini), Live Performance, 2003, Rossini Opera Festival, Bologna, w.Jesus Lopez-Cobos Cond. Juan Diego Flórez, Alastair Miles, Bruno Pratico, Stefania Bonfadelli, etc. 2-DG 0002923, incl. 80pp. Libretto-Brochure. - 028947750208
"A great vehicle for its star, Juan Diego Flórez, this beautifully engineered and nicely packaged live version of LE COMTE ORY from the 2003 Rossini Opera Festival is also a good all-around representation of the opera. Led by Jesus Lopez-Cobos, and featuring a solid cast, it strikes an effective balance between clean musical presentation and comic energy, and manages to be entertaining through most of its two hours. Flórez's charismatic performance as the scheming Ory is the main reason to check out this DG release, and what elevates it from being just another good recording to a top consideration for this piece. His singing here is every bit as polished as can be heard on his more manicured solo recordings, with the same ringing tone and easy top range. Flórez also reveals an incisive, take-charge musicianship that is easier to appreciate in the context of a complete opera. His coloratura is rock solid, his sense of line and style is perfect, and he lets the smile in his voice take care of the comedy instead of hamming it up. Stefania Bonfadelli tackles the rangy and often busy role of the Countess capably, though her voice is too heavy to be ideal for the part, and she often gets bogged down in passages of coloratura as a result. The dark-voiced Alastair Miles is entertaining and perfectly cast as Ory's stern Tutor. The rest of the cast contributes nicely, and the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna plays well under Lopez-Cobos. In the end, choosing this recording over the others available on the market comes down to taste, but Flórez's world-class singing should at least put it near the top of the list."
- Allen Schrott, allmusic.com