Il Signor Bruschino
Accademia di Belle Arti di Urbino – Scuola di Scenografia + Teatro Sotterraneo + Rossini Opera Festival
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The summer’s other new production is of another youthful Rossini work, “Il Signor Bruschino,” one of several one-act “farces” he wrote early in his career. Best known for its overture in which string players tap their bows on their music stands, the opera emerged as an amusing but slight affair about how Florville (the tenor Andrea Vincenzo Bonsignore in brightly focused voice) outwits his lover’s ward Gaudenzio (the excellent basso buffo Carlo Lepore) to win his beloved Sofia (the coloratura soprano Maria Aleida, in pleasant but rather thin voice). In this endeavor he receives unwitting help from Signor Bruschino, another comic bass (Roberto De Candia, also fine), whose drunken son had been pledged to Sofia.
A high point is a trio that tests the two basses’ skill at rapid-fire patter — both pass with honors. The clever production by members of the young, Florence-based Teatro Sotterraneo and the Academy of Fine Arts Urbino sets the opera in a Rossini theme park, where popcorn-eating tourists in bright, casual attire visit exhibits of Rossini operas. (Guideposts point the way to “Guillaume Tell” and “La Gazza Ladra.”) The opera is led by Daniele Rustioni, a fine young conductor who has attracted much attention of late.