Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



9780393088953.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Performances

Così fan tutte at Covent Garden

Desire and deception; Amor and artifice. In Jan Philipp Gloger’s new production of Così van tutte at the Royal Opera House, the artifice is of the theatrical, rather than the human, kind. And, an opera whose charm surely lies in its characters’ amiable artfulness seems more concerned to underline the depressing reality of our own deluded faith in human fidelity and integrity.

Plácido Domingo as Macbeth, LA Opera

On September 22, 2016, Los Angeles Opera presented Darko Tresnjak’s production of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Macbeth. Verdi and Francesco Maria Piave based their opera on Shakespeare’s play of the same name.

The Rake’s Progress: an Opera for Our Time

On September 18th, at a casual Sunday matinee, Pacific Opera Project presented a surprising choice for a small company. It was Igor Stravinsky’s 1951 three act opera, The Rake’s Progress. It’s a piece made for today's supertitles with its exquisitely worded libretto by W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman.

Classical Opera: Haydn's La canterina

We are nearing the end of Classical Opera’s MOZART 250 sojourn through 1766, a year that the company’s artistic director Ian Page admits was ‘on face value … a relatively fallow year’. I’m not so sure: Jommelli’s Il Vogoleso, performed at the Cadogan Hall in April, was a gem. But, then, I did find the repertoire that Classical Opera offered at the Wigmore Hall in January, ‘worthy rather than truly engaging’ (review). And, this programme of Haydn and his Czech contemporary Josef Mysliveček was stylishly executed but did not absolutely convince.

Dream of the Red Chamber in San Francisco

Globalization finds its way ever more to San Francisco Opera where Italian composer Marco Tutino’s La Ciociara saw the light of day in 2015 and now, 2016, Chinese composer Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber has been created.

San Diego Opera Opens with Recital by Piotr Beczala

Renowned Polish tenor Piotr Beczala and well-known collaborative pianist Martin Katz opened the San Diego Opera 2016–2017 season with a recital at the Balboa Theater on Saturday, September 17th.

Andrea Chénier at San Francisco Opera

San Francisco Opera makes occasional excursions into the operatic big-time, such just now was Giordano’s blockbuster Andrea Chénier, last seen at the War Memorial 23 years ago (1992) and even then after a hiatus of 17 years (1975).

A rousing I due Foscari at the Concertgebouw

There is no reason why, given the right performers, second-tier Verdi can’t be a top-tier operatic experience, as was the case with this concert version of I Due Foscari.

A double dose of Don Quixote at the Wigmore Hall

Since their first appearance in Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s literary master-piece, during the Spanish Golden Age, the ingenuous and imaginative knight-errant, Don Quixote, and his loyal subordinate and squire, Sancho Panza, have touched the creative imagination of composers from Salieri to Strauss, Boismortier to Rodrigo.

Bampton Classical Opera: A double bill of divine comedies

Bampton Classical Opera’s 2016 double-bill ‘touched down’ at St John’s Smith Square last night, following performances in The Deanery Garden at Bampton and The Orangery of Westonbirt School earlier this summer.

Mahler’s Second, Concertgebouw

Daniele Gatti opened the first series of Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s season with a slightly uneven performance of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony. With four planned, this staple repertoire for the RCO meant to introduce Gatti to the RCO subscribers.

Mad About San Jose’s Lucia

Opera San Jose opened a commendably impassioned Lucia di Lammermoor that sets the company’s bar very high indeed as it begins its new season.

ROH, Norma

The approach of the 2016-17 opera season has brought rising anticipation and expectation for the ROH’s new production - the first at Covent Garden for almost 30 years - of Bellini’s bel canto master-piece, Norma.

The Changing of the Guard

Last June, Riccardo Chailly led the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion for his last concert as Principal Conductor.

Morgen und Abend at Berlin

After its world premiere at Royal Opera House in London last year, the German première of Georg Friedrich Haas’s Morgen und Abend took place at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Der Freischütz at Unter den Linden

Rarely have I experienced such fabulous singing in such a dreadful production. With magnificent voices, Andreas Schager and Dorothea Röschmann rescued Michael Thalheimer’s grotesque staging of von Weber’s Der Freischütz. At Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Alexander Soddy led a richly detailed, transparent and brilliantly glowing Berliner Staatskapelle.

Prom 74: Verdi's Requiem

For the penultimate BBC Prom at the Royal Albert Hall on Friday 9 September 2016, Marin Alsop conducted the BBC Youth Choir and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in Verdi's Requiem with soloists Tamara Wilson, Alisa Kolosova, Dimitri Pittas, and Morris Robinson.

British Youth Opera: English Eccentrics

“Eccentricity is not, as dull people would have us believe, a form of madness. It is often a kind of innocent pride, and the man of genius and the aristocrat are frequently regarded as eccentrics because genius and aristocrat are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and vagaries of the crowd.”

Prom 68: a wonderful Semiramide

When I look back on the 2016 Proms season, this Opera Rara performance of Semiramide - the last opera that Rossini wrote for Italy - will be, alongside Pekka Kuusisto’s thrillingly free and refreshing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto - one of the stand-out moments.

Double Bill by Oper am Rhein

Of all the places in Germany, Oper am Rhein at Theater Duisburg staged an intriguing American double bill of rarities. An experience that was well worth the trip to this desolate ghost town, remnant of industrial West Germany.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Performances

Zachary Nelson as Figaro and Lisette Oropesa as Susanna [Photo by Ken Howard]
19 Aug 2013

Santa Fe Opera Revives The Marriage of Figaro

On Thursday, August 8, Santa Fe Opera revived the Bruce Donnell production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.

Santa Fe Opera Revives The Marriage of Figaro

A review by Maria Nockin

Above: Zachary Nelson as Figaro and Lisette Oropesa as Susanna [Photo by Ken Howard]

 

Although during the overture servants picked flowers that had sprung up from the bare stage, the production was completely traditional. Paul Brown's scenery and costumes set the story in the time and place established by its original author, Caron de Beaumarchais.

On Thursday, August 8, Santa Fe Opera revived the Bruce Donnell production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Although during the overture servants picked flowers that had sprung up from the bare stage, the production was completely traditional. Paul Brown's scenery and costumes set the story in the time and place established by its original author, Caron de Beaumarchais.

Lisette Oropesa is an up-and-coming soprano who has established an excellent reputation for singing with luminous tones and precise coloratura. Her Susanna was flirty, saucy and passionate. Zachary Nelson's Figaro was somewhat less authoritative because of the size of his voice, but his interpretation was persuasive. Susanna Phillips was a smooth, sumptuous-voiced Countess who sang a slow, drawn out 'Porgi, amor, qualche ristoro' ('O Love, give me some remedy') and an artfully phrased 'Dove Sono, I bei momenti' ('Where are the beautiful moments?'). She was every inch the beautiful, loving, but neglected, wife.

As the Count, Daniel Okulitch was a most forceful character, you really felt that he would harm his wife if he saw evidence that she was unfaithful. He commanded the stage every moment he was on it and sang a most impressive 'Vedrò mentre io sospiro, felice un servo mio!' ('While I suffer, shall I see a servant of mine happy?'). He was not a nobleman to be trifled with.

Veteran mezzo Susanne Mentzer's Marcellina was a youthful cougar who would not be denied a chance at married bliss. I wish they had included her aria. Dale Travis was a bumbling but robust-toned Bartolo who sang his piece with gusto. In the travesty part of Cherubino, Emily Fons really gave a boyish impression and sang her arias with solid tones. Kittenish apprentice Rachel Hall was the perfect mate for 'him' as she sang her simple aria with a clear, sweet voice. Keith Jameson was a nosy Basilio, while apprentice Adam Lau created a memorable character as the drunken gardener. As usual, Susanne Sheston's apprentice chorus sang with precise harmonies. Conductor John Nelson's tempi varied greatly, sometimes rather fast, at other times slow enough to require the utmost in breath control. Although this was not a perfect performance, it was a most enjoyable one.

Maria Nockin

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):