But it is Pidòs staff that carry the day and centre-stage is his head-waitress Natalie Dessay, who seems to do everything right at the moment.
She has a brilliant voice and her coloratura technique is superb but what makes her special is the sensitivity of her lyrical singing.
La sonnambula, playing in a rural setting in the Swiss Alps, has a great deal of outdoor feeling but the events unfold at a leisurely speed at a time it is the early 19th century when the hurly-burly of todays asphalt-jungles was an unknown quantity.
To put it bluntly: Amina is not the only character that displays a somnambulistic behaviour in this opera.
Evelino Pidò is an experienced conductor of the early 19th century bel canto repertoire.
I have heard him in both Rossini and Donizetti and he is just as much at home in Bellini.Since this opera is not a tragedy everything is sorted out in the end and Amina gets an opportunity to sing A non giunge just before curtain-fall, explaining the happiness that fills her.Someone who hasnt followed the libretto properly might misconstrue the situation and believe she has gone mad, since that is the common reason in romantic opera for indulging in vocal acrobatics.Armed with the libretto and prepared to be drawn into a sea of lovely melodies and lyrical moods, anyone with an interest in good singing will be in for a really enjoyable occasion.Forget what you have ever read about Bellini being harmonically meagre or contrapuntally incompetent or any other drivel youve come across.Newcomers to the work have consequently been duly warned: there is no blood-and-thunder to be expected.But this doesnt mean that the opera should be written off as a non-event.Others may have been his superiors in these fields and I dont believe that he ever had the ambition to challenge any of his illustrious contemporaries but he knew what he was good at.Here are rich opportunities to get the very special Bellinian brew served by the best waiters and waitresses around, supervised by a restaurateur who knows exactly how to get the most out of a visit to this tavern.Earlier tonight in Paris, at Opera Bastille, where Natalie Dessay was supposed to be singing "Sonnambula", a woman came on stage shortly before showtime and informed the public that La Nata was unwell, but that she'd sing anyway.The first Act was, apparently, OK, even if one could tell that Dessay was not in top shape, but just before Act 2, the woman came out again and said that Dessay could not go on singing, and they just canceled the rest of the show.