There is a childlike simplicity to this Glyndebourne staging - doll-house interior, baroque furniture, period costumes. Thus, the prodution is not entirely traditional. Neither is it modern. Unfortunately it also lacks a clear take on the work.
The beautiful voice in it´s prime is surprisingly not the superb Countess I´d expected. Vocally, Renée Fleming makes too many artificially sounding portamenti and odd tempo changes. Furthermore, she has gone through a major dramatic development since this was recorded in 1994. Additionally she lacks energy and looks very heavy and exhausted (pregnant?). More energy comes from the way of Alison Hagley´s fine Susanna. Andreas Schmidt is the noble Count, with the noble and beautiful voice. And while Gerald Finley´s roguish Count from the recently released Davic McVicar production is hard to forget, he was superb even in 1994 as Figaro.
Bernard Haitink simply delivered a superbly conducted performance from the London Philharmonics with the full-bodied orchestra sound. No period-style Mozart here.
Fleming, Finley, Schmidt, Hagley - "Aprite, presto":
The bottom line (scale of 1-5, 3=average):
Renée Fleming: 4
Andreas Schmidt: 4
Gerald Finley: 4
Alison Hagley: 4
Marie-Ange Todorovitch: 3-4
Bernard Haitink: 5
Overall impression: 3