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REVIEW: Marriage of Figaro (Lyric Opera)

| March 3, 2010 | 2 Comments

This marriage is a flawless, fun farce

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Lyric Opera of Chicago presents:

Marriage of Figaro

Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conducted by
Sir Andrew Davis
Stage directed by
Herbert Kellner
Projected English supertitles by Francis Rizzo
at
Civic Opera House through March 27th (more info)

By Katy Walsh

figaro01Figaro wants to marry Susanna. Marcellina wants to marry Figaro. Bartolo wants to marry the Countess. The Count wants Susanna. The Countess wants the Count. Cherubino wants everybody.  Arias of lust love are in the air!

Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Marriage of Figaro, composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A four act opera buffa (comedy) performed in Italian with projected English translations. A sequel to The Barber of Seville, the opera is set in the late eighteenth century. Figaro and Susanna want to marry. As servants of the Count, the union must be authorized by him. In addition, the Count may choose to invoke the custom of ‘having the bride’ before giving her away. The Count is not the only one interfering with Figaro’s marriage. Debts and betrayals have followed him from his The Barber of Seville days. Through a comedic series of tricks and twists, love eventually conquers all.

Throughout all four acts, this cast sings and plays well together. It’s like watching a group of friends setting up good natured pranks to teach each other a lesson. Leading the playful spirit, Danielle De Niese (Susanna) is an adorable, lively sprite with pitch-perfect, comedic timing. Kyle Ketelsen (Figaro) delivers a solid bass-baritone performance as the ultimate cocky player. Anne Schwanewilms (Countess) laments the loss of her husband’s affections in a gorgeous rendition of “Porgi Amor”, and later vows to regain his love in “Dove Sono”. Within the frivolity of the frenzy of multiple charades, her arias are the quiet moments of true clarity and sadness of love lost. The Countess describes her husband as ‘modern: faithless, willful, not so much jealous, as vain.’ Mariusz Kwiecien (Count) embodies that description while – being the brunt of the shams – struggling at the same time. Kwiecien delivers his own spectacular aria “Vedro, mentr’io sospiro” with promises of vengeance to the pranksters. Joyce DiDonato (Cherubino) is a woman playing a boy sometimes playing a woman. She’s hilarious with her portrayal of a youth; a slave to his strong lustful infatuations. In a smaller role, Andrea Silvestrelli (Bartolo) makes his presence memorable with his booming bass singing. His aria “La vendetta” is magnificent. In particular, in one sequence, Silvestrelli squeezes his huge, rich voice through a series of rapid notes. Amazing.

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The Lyric Opera of Chicago has chosen to close its 2009-2010 season with a warhorse. Even to new opera goers, this Mozart’s masterpiece has familiar pieces. The overture and a few of the arias are used in movie scores to enhance themes of multiple plots colliding or love loss. The Lyric has cast it perfect and – under the guidance of Sir Andrew Davis at the baton – Marriage of Figaro hits all the right notes for high spirited high-jinx.  Highly recommended!

From the first note of the overture to the standing ovation, Marriage of Figaro is a flawless, fun farce!

Rating: ★★★★

 

Running Time: Three hours and forty-five minutes includes a thirty minute intermission

Note: Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, based on Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais’ play La folle journee, ou Le marriage de Figaro (1784).

View (2010-02) Marriage of Figaro - Lyric Opera

Cast and Creative Team

 

Kyle KetelsenFigaro
Kyle Ketelsen

Danielle de Niese

Susanna
Danielle de Niese

Anne Schwanewilms

Countess
Anne Schwanewilms

Mariusz Kwiecien

Count
Mariusz Kwiecien

Joyce DiDonato

Cherubino
Joyce DiDonato

Lauren Curnow Headshot

Marcellina 
Lauren Curnow

Keith Jameson

Basilio
Keith Jameson

Andrea Silvestrelli

Bartolo
Andrea Silvestrelli

Angela Mannino

Barbarina
Angela Mannino

Philip Kraus

Antonio
Philip Kraus

David Portillo

Curzio
David Portillo

Majeski Headshot

Peasant Girl
Amanda Majeski*

Lerner HeadshotPeasant Girl
Katherine Lerner

Tosca Davis Headshot

Conductor
Sir Andrew Davis
February 28; March 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 20

Vordoni Headshot

Conductor
Leonardo Vordoni
March 15, 22, 24, 27

Hall Headshot

Original Production
Sir Peter Hall

Herbert Kellner

Stage Director
Herbert Kellner

Bury Headshot

Designer
John Bury

Schuler Headshot

Lighting Designer
Duane Schuler

Nally

Chorus Master
Donald Nally

Heidecke Headshot

Choreographer
Kenneth von Heidecke

Tye HS

Ballet Mistress
August Tye

Jarvie

Wigmaster and Makeup Designer
Richard Jarvie

   

NOTE: Photos and links courtesy of Lyric Opera’s website.

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Category: 2010 Reviews, Civic Opera House, Katy Walsh, Lyric Opera, Opera

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