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Performer: Aya Wakizono

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Rising star Aya Wakizono commands the stage in La Cenerentola

Jun Aguni’s fast-paced new staging, with brightly coloured sets and costumes by Rome-based Alessandro Ciammarughi, was full of visual delights and fantasy-filled images.

****1
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Pier Luigi Pizzi’s Barbiere triumphs in Pesaro

The Rossini Opera Festival stages a new production of the most famous of Rossini’s masterpieces to celebrate the composer in the 150th anniversary of his death.
****1
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Rare Donizetti opera buffa revived in Bergamo

Absent from theatres for more than a century and a half, Donizetti's comedy about Tsar Peter the Great is revived in the composer's home town.
****1
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A frivolous La pietra del paragone in Pesaro

The young tenor Maxim Mironov, who played the poet Giocondo, was the name on everyone's lips by the end of the show. His voice is a modestly-sized and soft-grained, but it is beautifully produced, and focuses to a laser-like point up top.
****1
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Rossini's Turk given in memory of Alberto Zedda

In Livermore's staging the scheme becomes meta-cinematographic: the poet Prosdocimus here has Marcello Mastroianni's features in Fellini's film 8 ½.
***11
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Mercadante's Francesca da Rimini in Martina Franca

A long awaited debut for an opera which revealed itself as a Romantic masterpiece.
****1
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