The Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme gives an opportunity for talented singers at the beginning of their careers to immerse themselves in the life at ROH, as well as receiving support and guidance in their artistic development. Part of their programme, in addition to recitals and other performance opportunities – sometimes in the main house – includes a fully staged production in the Linbury Studio Theatre. Rossini’s La Scala Di Seta is a good choice for this group of young aspiring performers. Perhaps underrated in the list of Rossini operas, it has a number of very challenging but highly rewarding and beautiful arias and some very cheeky and well crafted ensembles. At around two hours with interval, it is short and sweet and does exactly what is says on the tin: fun and frolics with some of the best bel canto tunes around.

Greg Eldridge (director) and Holly Pigott’s (designer) production has a relatively traditional period setting, with a few quirky additions including a tree sprouting from Giulia’s bed, growing through her roof and providing a convenient ladder for all her rendezvous to climb down. With the plot taking place in one room for the entirety of the opera, a lot of the action revolves around characters hiding from each other either under various tables or behind curtains – as you can imagine, hilarity ensues.

With the small number of roles and the intimacy of the Linbury Studio, there is nowhere to hide for the young cast. Lauren Fagan as Giulia is impressive in the challenging role and, although a bit breathy in the voice at times, her vocal agility and sweetness shines through. Luis Gomes as Dorvil (her lover) unfortunately struggles through the role, finding the high tessitura of the Rossini tenor role too much of a stretch at times. His vocal quality however is warm and bronzy, and also makes up partly for some flat acting. There is however some fantastic comic acting on show: James Platt in particular as the outrageous Blansac is in fine voice, having a large, rich sound and being suitably sinister in the role. Yuri Yurchuk gives a bemused but amusing portrayal of Germano the servant, and Samuel Dale Johnson is great in the small role of Dormont the tutor, with a very appealing baritone.

Above all, Rossini’s music shines and must be applauded. This piece presents some beautiful bel canto repertoire with some stonking good ensembles to boot. With some questionable performances, this production is still worth seeing if only for some mischievous moments and charming physical comedy.

La Scala Di Seta plays at the Linbury Studio Theatre until October 24. For more information see the Royal Opera House website.