L’Equivoco Stravagante – A Rossini Farce

With Kreissig’s first opera direction – the German premiere of “L’Equivovo Stravagante” – a fruitful collaboration began for many years with the Rossini Festival in Bad Widbad. Ballets were created, but above all imaginative updates of classics such as “L’Italiana in Algeri”, “L’occasion fa il ladro” or rediscovering forgotten works such as Balducci’s “I Gelosi”.
In “L’Euiqvoco”, Rossini’s far too rarely mentioned farce, the successful big farmer Gamberotto has chosen as his future husband, who is as rich as he is stupid, for his intellectual and literarily interested daughter Ernestina Buralicchio. Ernestina, in turn, is worshiped by Ermanno, who works as a tutor in Gamberotto’s household. In the context of the wonderfully absurd plot, Buralicchio, rejected by Ernestina, dispatches the rumor that Ernestina is actually a castrato dressed up as a girl who wants to escape military service. Ernestina is arrested and put in jail.

Kreissig directed credit card-reinforced Wunschschwiegersöhne, choirs of singing garden gnomes and languishing students and a line of ancestors of large farmers with cabbage fields, in whose line was also the then German Chancellor Helmut Kohl was to discover.

As a buffoon soloist of the first version, partly sung in German, with a soprano in the main role of Ernestina, in 1983 the young Matthias Klink offered a fantastic role debut. In the faithfully reconstructed revival in 1994, this time in Italian and with a correct coloratura mezzo, the Swiss artist Heidi Brunner was seen as Ernestina.
Press review Equivovo

Ermanno is thus the one who liberates his Ernestina from military custody, and Thorsten Kreissig stages this scene in Wildbad in a refreshingly farcical manner: two soldiers hold a cloth with a painted wall behind which Ernestina languishes; Ermanno takes the key from one of the guards and the lover slips into the air behind the cloth

(…) …) Kreissig made for comedic vibrancy, also brought all sorts of crackers, but did not overburden the whole thing with gags, drove his characters not into the bizarre, which would have rather paralyzed the lively flow. A workable, clever concept that was appropriate and worthy of a portioned amusement.

Hans-Klaus Jungheinrich, Frankfurter Rundschau July 17, 93

That the two-and-a-half-hour evening was even more than just a musical rediscovery, namely a veritable fun, that is due to the staging by Thorsten Kreissig. (…) The farmers are garden gnomes with clown noses, the philosophical reading club of Ernestina is like a VEB bookbug and the stunningly self-loving groom Buralicchio throws Kleenex sweat cloths among his supposed fans and shows off his credit card selection. (…) Kreissig always does as much as a director, so that you know what it is about, but you do not get annoyed by it. Which is the main reason why the laughing-heart is hit.

Rainer Wagner, Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, July 13, 1993

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(This page was last updated on August 11, 2018.
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