Notes & Reviews:
A large-hearted production from England's Glyndebourne Festival. Figaro, the wily servant about to wed the maid Susanna, is sung with smooth tone and - when required - dramatic intensity by Gerald Finley, while Alison Hagley offers a light, nimble soprano as his intended. Happily, the Countess, sung beautifully by Renee Fleming, is on hand to help the servant foil her husband's plans and the supporting character - love-struck page Cherubino; old maid Marcellina and conniving music teacher Basilio - are equally strong. When one adds the attractive period costumes, ingenious sets, and crisp performance of the London philharmonic under Bernard Haitink, the result is one fine Figaro. The sole drawback is that the recording dates back to 1994, so the picture format for this remastered Blu-ray release is standard 4:3, while the sound is LPCM stereo. A hugely enjoyable performance of one of the world's most beloved operas, this is recommended.