Magazine article Opera Canada

Ottawa

Magazine article Opera Canada

Ottawa

Article excerpt

It seemed odd, in this year celebrating Mozart's 250 years, that Opera Lyra Ottawa should choose Il barbiere di Siviglia over Le nozze di Figaro, but never mind--the National Arts Centre's Southam Hall was filled to near capacity for its four-evening run (Sept. 9-16). And if there were a few disappointments, the good outweighed the bad.

David Gately's staging was endlessly inventive, including a brilliant finale to Act I featuring a virtuoso slow-motion mime by the chorus. John Stodart's single revolving set, on loan from the Canadian Opera Company, was attractive and superbly functional, fitting every nuance of the action. Stephen Ross's lighting served the production values nicely without drawing undue attention to itself.

If the musical achievements had been equal to the stagecraft and the portrayals of Figaro and Rosina, it would have been a Barbiere to remember. Jeff Mattsey was a delight as Figaro--strong in voice, charming in manner and nimble in action. …

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