Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A New Route to Stardom; OPERA

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A New Route to Stardom; OPERA

Article excerpt

Byline: FIONA MADDOCKS

The Marriage of Figaro, Savoy Theatre

AFTER only two nights and two operas, detectable patterns are emerging in Raymond Gubbay's new Savoy Opera. The standards and aims, one can imagine, are akin to those of the fabled Carl Rosa company, which, many moons ago, robustly introduced opera fans to popular repertoire.

Barber of Seville, the first of the Savoy pair, felt like a West End show - visibly and vocally on the choppy side but spirited fun and an appealing entree for an opera novice, if anathema to connoisseurs.

Marriage of Figaro, however, in a traditional staging by Matthew Richardson, economically designed by Gideon Davey, seems to have a different, but complementary, ambition. Delivered with considerable musical finesse and superior stage drill, it came across as a serious showcase for young singers en route to ENO or beyond while still raising plenty of laughter. The conductor Paul McGrath led an assured performance and the orchestra, though the same personnel, did an immeasurably crisper job than in the Rossini. …

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