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If you’re after bel canto singing of the highest mark and a night in at the opera, look no further than this double-disc set
Repertoire: La Cenerentola
Artists: Soloists, Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu/Patrick Summers
Label: Decca 074 3305
Rossini’s telling of the Cinderella story sparkles like quicksilver in this visually delightful, musically compelling production from Barcelona’s Liceu. The show holds eye and ear, its magic unlocked with consummate skill by all involved in its making. Music director Patrick Summers leads the way, blending elegance and élan to deliver a memorable vision of the work; Joan Font’s 2007 staging, meanwhile, is shot through with cartoon-caper treats, from man-size rats to Dandini’s doughty steed. Although Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez, as Cinders and the Prince, command superlatives, the whole company excels, generating the emotional light and shade that Rossini’s score deserves. Strongly recommended.