Tue, 15 Mar 2011 19:38:12 -0700
The opera isn’t popular, the modern staging has been criticised, so what makes Clari so interesting? Cecilia Bartoli, of course. Here is a clear example of how the woman can do no wrong, and can elevate even the most inconsequential of works.
French composer Fromental Halévy originally wrote the Italian opera Clari in 1828 as a vehicle for Maria Maibran, whom he met while chef du chant at the Théâtre Italien. Clari was not a huge success for Halévy, nor has it stood the test of time.
In no way does Clari compare to la Ceci’s previous forays into forgotten music, perhaps because it’s a semiseria and a bit too fluffy, or maybe it has something to do with the modern treatment of the production. As I watched the clip I was instantly attracted. I like the cute packaging and the wacky set design, but something seems seems off (It’s probably the opera itself).
In the end it is worth purchasing for the sake of sitting back and enjoying a work that without la Ceci may never have seen the light of day, and yes you lucky opera lovers it is now available on Amazon.
Intermezzo has a wonderfully written, enthusiastic review of the 2008 Opernhaus Zürich production on her blog. I encourage you to relive the live experience though Intermezzo’s eyes.