Saturday, August 25, 2012

Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra: Rossini's La gazza ladra—Overture

The Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra performs the Overture from Gioachino Rossini's opera, La gazza ladra ("The Thieving Magpie"), with Gustavo Dudamel at the podium, at the Teatro Teresa Carreño's Sala Ríos Reyna in Caracas, Venezuela, on February 3, 2009. 

This opera is classified as a melodramma or opera semiseria in two acts; the libretto was written by Giovanni Gherardini, an adaptation of La pie voleuse, an 1815 drama by Jean-Marie-Théodore Badouin d'Aubigny and Louis-Charles Caigniez; Rossini's opera premiered at La Scala in Milan, Italy, on May 31, 1817. Almost two hundred years later, the Overture remains the favourite of opera lovers, a point that Opera News makes clear in an article of July 2012:
For most of its two-century career, La Gazza Ladra has been known best for its scintillating, martially infused overture, and repeated hearings of the complete opera haven't displaced the overture's primacy in my affections. Still, once the curtain rises, there's more fine, splendidly constructed music (much of it comfortably familiar in outline, if not specifics, from other operas of Rossini's). Exceeding three hours of music, its storyline flimsy, its tunes less than top-drawer, La Gazza Ladra still manages, by that weird Rossinian alchemy, to beguile.  
That it does.