Opera Lafayette's semi-staging concept, directed by Catherine Turocy, got a little cutesy, perhaps, but the idea was sound -- a take-off on how the actors and singers of the Comedie Italienne in Paris used to govern the place and audition new works, including Philidor's. This provided the workable framework to fill in plot details. The cast jumped in with theatrical flair. Vocally, things were a bit uneven. Darren Perry, as Sancho, needed a more secure top register to go with the rest of his vibrant effort. I wouldn't have minded greater tonal color from sopranos Meghan McCall and Elizabeth Calleo, but their dynamic delivery paid off. Karim Sulayman was particularly impressive, puting a lot of character into his singing. John Lescault, in the speaking role of librettist Poinsinet, served as an amiable host for this fast-paced dip into opera history. The rest of the cast provided able support.