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The Sunday Opera: Rossini's "Le Comte Ory" and "Il Signor Bruschino"

We’re celebrating the anniversary of the birth (sort of) of Gioachino Rossini on this week’s Sunday Opera (3/1 3:00 p.m.), and that’s because he was born on leap day in 1792, and we thought that March 1st was close enough!  With that in mind, what better way to mark his 228th or 57th anniversary but with two of his delightful comedies.  We’ll begin with 1828’s “Le Comte Ory,” and although the opera might not be that familiar, some of the music may be since Rossini, the king of recycling, used some of the score from “Il Viaggio a Reims” which had been written for the coronation of Charles X three years before.  “Le Comte Ory” follows the romantic escapades of the count of the title who, while all of the knights are away at the Crusades, tries his hardest to seduce the wife of another with little success even as he masquerades as a hermit and a nun.  The cast includes John Aler as the randy count along with Diana Montague, Gino Quillico, Sumi Jo, Frances Dudziak, Nicolas Rivenq, and the Lyon Opera Orchestra and Chorus conducted by John Elliot Gardiner.  

We’ll continue the afternoon with one of Rossini’s one-act gems, “Il Signor Bruschino,” a comedy featuring an arranged marriage and a couple who falls in love with the right mate without knowing his or her true identity, and it's another masquerade that, this time, works out for the best.  This cast includes Bruno Pratico, Patrizia Orciani, Natale de Carolis, Fulvio Massa, and Luca Canonici.  Marcello Viotti conducts. 

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.