Yes, I realize the title is misleading (at least it’s not fake news!) – Maestro Muti only conducted the overture to Rossini’s Semiramide last night, not the entire opera, but hey, it’s better than nothing!
Now, for yesterday’s concert – the first CSO program of Maestro Muti’s February residency – Yefim Bronfman played a magnificent Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4, as the CSO is doing the whole cycle of the Beethoven piano concerti this season (really looking forward to Radu Lupu doing the 5th!!). However, even though this was my first time hearing Bronfman live, it actually wasn’t what I was most looking forward to…for me, I was most interested in hearing the opening work of the program, the overture to Rossini’s Semiramide, one of my favorite operas by Rossini. The only recording I have of the opera is Bonynge conducting the London Philharmonic with Sutherland in the title role, and it’s an incredible work. Surprisingly, I haven’t been able to find any recordings of the full opera conducted by Maestro Muti, nor have I been able to find anything relating to him conducting the opera, so maybe he’s never conducted the full opera? Anyways, any opportunity that I get to hear Maestro Muti conduct (Italian) opera (even if it’s just an overture) is always enlightening, and that was definitely the case yesterday – a great way to conclude this week!