Welsh National Opera's the Marriage of Figaro

By Smith, Mike | Musical Opinion, March/April 2009 | Go to article overview

Welsh National Opera's the Marriage of Figaro


Smith, Mike, Musical Opinion


You have to hand it to opera singers; they cope with just about anything a producer and design team throw at them. And I would have said that is equally true of WNOs version of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro seen on 7 February - but sadly, no, tragically, in this case it is not true.

Apologies to the Iberian citrus fruit industry, but this farcical Figaro is as subtle as a sack of soggy satsumas. Once you peel away the pretty costumes and reasonably attractive sets from Franca Squarciapino and Paco Azorin some of what lies inside is best discarded while a few choice segments remain.

I would have said a Seville orange for his show that decided to throw Jeeves and Bertie Wooster into a nasty flick knife wielding and gun toting Andulcian caper while practicing some new dance steps for the May Ball. But there was nothing sharp or invigorating when you bit into this production.

Think elegant 1930s, dare I say, English aristocracy with stereotypic characters inhabiting a chic household with the sort of servants that you would sack on the spot, one who dresses as a French maid and prances around a lot and another who gives a good Oliver Hardy impersonation - and also prances around a lot.

In fact, with the dignified exception of the Countess, the entire cast seem to be suffering from St Vitas' Dance, which probably explains why the local quack has prescribed ballet bars in the boudoir and spotlights to let them pretend they are in their own little show.

The wine Figaro threatens with a flick knife and is then forced down poor Cherub ino's throat might be red, the flavour of the dance and gestures Spanish. Yes I am sure I got a whiff of turkey in this co production with Gran Teatre del Liceu. Maybe it was more to their taste when it opened in the run up to last year's festive season.

Fortunately the Cardiff first night authence responded accordingly when Barcelona director Luis Pasqual took his curtain call and gave polite applause having quite correctly reserved their enthusiasm for the wonderful cast.

I am not even going to bother the brain cells by wondering why Figaro sang to and bounced around a silver football that dropped down from the heavens at one stage. The closing act is difficult to stage as our characters are supposed to be fumbling around in the dark. Here the characters were dodging in and out of rather freaky, enormous House of Fun mirrors that had a life of their own. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Welsh National Opera's the Marriage of Figaro
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.