01 Nov 2010

From day one, The Marriage Of Figaro was a match made in heaven


By Conrad Wilson [The Herald, 1 November 2010]

But what was it actually like, that very first performance of The Marriage Of Figaro at Vienna’s Burgtheater in May 1786? Not quite like Scottish Opera’s in Glasgow last night, to be sure. At a time when modern conductors, especially the late lamented Sir Charles Mackerras, have been trying to bring us closer and closer to the composer’s intentions while many modern stage directors have been transporting us further away from them, we cannot help wondering what the original audience really experienced and how much, despite Mackerras’s meticulous attention to detail, it must have differed from a performance today.