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More verismo and more Offenbach here, both filmed in Florence at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. The Offenbach is Un mari à la porte, a typically daft Feydeau-type farce where a fleeing lover falls from the rooftops down a chimney into a woman’s boudoir, where all kinds of mischief then ensues, not least because her husband arrives at precisely the wrong moment. But it’s fun, and given a suitably zingy production by Luigi Di Gangi and Ugo Giacomazzi, who take the idea of a birdcage and run with it without overdoing things. The extravagant costumes (Agnese Rabatti) are very Ru Paul’s Drag Race. The whole thing would sink if the four singers weren’t up to the opportunities to warble and overact, but thankfully they are. Matteo Mezzaro bounces around happily as the cause of all the trouble and Marina Ogii enjoys panicking as the besieged wife. Patrizio La Placa makes the most of a role where he is literally stuck outside the door. And best of all is Francesca Benitez as the friend who gets caught up in everything – she has the big hit number, a Valse Tyrolienne, one of Offenbach’s frothiest coloratura showpieces, and she nails it with aplomb.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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