Last night we saw the first of the three operas at this year's Rossini Festival - Le Comte Ory, which I will be reporting on later. It has always been my favorite Rossini work and was the first LP* I ever owned. Written for Paris in 1828, Rossini never one to lose good numbers, reused a great deal of Il Viaggio a Rheims that had been written three years preivous for the coronation of Charles X.
It was not until it was revived at Glyndebourne in 1954 that it entered the modern repetorie. Here's the first act finale from a later Glyndebourne production.
Young Comte Ory, a wastrel, takes advantage of the absence of the local gentry at the crusades to try and seduce their ladies. Disguised first as a hermit then as a nun he attempts to enter the castle and the bed of the beautiful Countess of Formoutiers. As Act 1 ends he's been unmasked as the Hermit and news arrives that the Countess's brother is returning with his men from the Crusade.
*For the young ones an LP was a long playing record - a black vinyl disk that you put on a turntable and ... forget it you wouldn't believe me if I told you.
12 agosto - Santa Giovanna Francesca de Chantal