The essential for great music are there: A great score by Rossini, wonderful singers headed by the incomparable Renee Fleming; excellent stage direction, attractive and unique costuming. But, of course, the story is to modern sensibilities ironic -- and one wonders whether Riossini shared in this sense of irony. For the evil was embodied by the love of Armido, the evil sorceress, and Rinaldo, the brave hero of the Crusades. The success of the two soldiers was in persuading Rinaldo to return to the "honor" or slaughtering thousands of Muslims and other "heathen," rather than live a benign live of love and leisure!

The ballet seemed overly long and did not advance the story, however annoying the actual story was.