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Le Nozze di Figaro

“A visually elegant and clearly directed production”

It’s refreshing to encounter a Marriage of Figaro set in period and – even more precisely – in Seville.

Designer Tim Reed creates elegant interiors, though Peter Mumford’s lighting does not really allow the identities of the disguised characters in the nocturnal final scene to be credibly hidden from one another.

Martin Lloyd-Evans’ direction, meanwhile, maintains a consistently clear narrative line.

The cast is stronger on the male side. Toby Girling’s volatile Almaviva is founded on a resilient baritone. In determined contention with him is Italian bass-baritone Roberto Lorenzi’s sharply defined Figaro. Old hands Jonathan Best and Richard Suart deliver closely observed character studies as Bartolo and Antonio respectively, and Ben Johnson’s Basilio thankfully avoids the still lingering camp stereotype.

As Almaviva’s neglected wife, Romanian soprano Simona Mihai’s seriousness tends to push the character too far towards tragedy, while vocally she experiences the odd hesitant moment. Ellie Laugharne’s personality-girl Susanna’s sheer busyness occasionally seems applied from without, but her vibrant tone is a distinct asset.

Wallis Giunta’s Cherubino balances the layered artifice of appearing boyish while more than once playing a boy playing a girl; her innate vocal warmth lends her pubertal pageboy a winning appeal. Louise Winter’s game Marcellina and Rowan Pierce’s manipulative Barbarina are equally focused.

The Academy of Ancient Music is conducted by its music director, Richard Egarr. A handful of wrong notes and Egarr’s mannered penchant for speeding up or slowing down are disconcerting; but in general his sense of period style adds to the character of the music-making.

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Production Details
Production nameLe Nozze di Figaro
VenueThe Grange
StartsJune 6, 2019
EndsJune 6, 2019
Running time4hrs 35mins
ComposerWolfgang Amadeus Mozart
DirectorMartin Lloyd-Evans
ConductorRichard Egarr
ChoreographerMitchell Harper
Set designerTim Reed
Costume designerTim Reed
Lighting designerPeter Mumford
Casting directorMichael Chance
CastBen Johnson, Ellie Laugharne, Jonathan Best, Louise Winter, Richard Suart, Roberto Lorenzi, Rowan Pierce, Simona Mihai, Toby Girling, Wallis Giunta
TechnicalBen Nickson, Teresa Nagel
Production managerTom Nickson
Stage managerSaskia Godwin
Head of wardrobeKate Lyons
ProducerGrange Festival
VerdictA visually elegant and clearly directed production opens The Grange Festival season
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George Hall

George Hall

George Hall

George Hall

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