When Donizetti’s comedy, updated to the mid-20th century by the Uruguayan-born director Mario Gas, was mounted at Barcelona’s magnificent Liceu opera house in 2005, Opera News wrote that: The absolute hit of the production was… Rolando Villazón, a commanding, vulnerable and hilarious Nemorino. His stage presence dominated
every scene he was in… [and] his lovable innocence was a joy to behold. Villazón’s perfect technique and creamy, malleable voice conquered the audience . . . His athletic and expressive body language midway between Cantinflas and Mr. Bean fits this role and this production perfectly. The Mexican tenor, making his debut at the
Liceu, was called upon the encore the opera s most famous aria, the plaintive Una furtiva lagrima . Rolando Villazón can already be seen and heard as Nemorino on another Virgin Classics DVD, released in 2006. His partners in that more traditionally rustic production from Vienna were Anna Netrebko, Leo Nucci and Ildebrando d’Arcangelo; here they are Spanish soprano Maria Bayo as the wealthy and capricious Adina, Italian baritone Bruno Praticò as Dulcamara, the pedlar of the so-called elixir of love in fact just red wine in disguise and French baritone Jean-Luc Chaignaud as the swaggering sergeant Belcore.
Release date: April 6, 2010