Special Event, Special Music: Rossini's 'Journey to Reims'


by Lisa Simeone

THE HIT SINGLE:  "Grazie vi rendo"

Early in the opera, the Countess Folleville (soprano Sofia Mchedlisvili) makes quite a scene when it seems her wardrobe has been lost in transit.  But she seems content -- much to the relief of the other guests -- when her maid Modestina turns up, having managed to salvage at least one, stylish Parisian hat.

THE B SIDE:  "All shall be happy"

It first seems that the various guests at the hotel may never learn to get along, but after the poet Corinna improvises a calming song, they all get into the spirit of brotherhood.  In a brilliant sextet, as Part One ends, they conclude that everyone can be happy, after all -- "felice ognun sarà."