Thursday night was the Met premiere of Rossini's Le Comte Ory, an opera I've cherished since I saw it at the Opéra Français de New York in 1993, with Lauren Flanigan, Kristine Jepson, and Jeffrey Francis in the leads. The new production, by Bartlett Sher, has a handsome sheen and delivers a fair degree of frisky fun, including a full-on threesome at the climax. (A woman, a man disguised as a woman, and a woman singing the part of a man.) But I'm with Anne Midgette in thinking that the show fell short of what the company might have achieved. For one thing, it was rather blatantly conducted; Yves Abel, in 1993, elicited more stylish results from a less starry ensemble. There was too much farcical mincing about, especially on the part of Juan Diego Flórez. Only Joyce DiDonato dug deeper into the score, which, as the scholar Philip Gossett points out, is full of "sexual and musical shadows, disguises and illusions." And, speaking of Gossett, it's a pity that the Met didn't use Damien Colas's new critical edition of the opera, which Gossett supervised for Bärenreiter's Opere di Gioachino Rossini series. This edition reinstates substantial passages that were cut from the original finales of both acts. (The previously published score represents, as Gossett sees it, a version simplified for the provinces.) As Anne says, the Act II finale seemed especially abrupt on opening night at the Met. If the Zurich Opera can stage Le Comte Ory in its original form, why can't the Met? Still, the production is worth seeing, and the trio is beautifully outrageous.