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The Marriage of Figaro

“Witty, whip-smart and big-hearted”

Mozart and Da Ponte’s The Marriage of Figaro is an exuberant, near-flawless marriage of music and words, and of matters complex and simple. In Mid Wales Opera’s new big-hearted chamber-scale production, the work’s multiple twists and turns boil down to an exposé of human nature that’s at once forgiving and slapstick, yet whip-smart with social critique.

It’s cannily directed and designed by Richard Studer for touring to small venues, utilising Amanda Holden’s witty English translation and a perky reduced orchestration by conductor Jonathan Lyness, performed with spirit by a 10-piece Ensemble Cymru.

The minimal setting suggests a rural 18th century – until the characters appear in post-Second World War garb. Thankfully, this combination is not jarring. The farce sees servants and a wronged female aristocrat overcome various obstacles to join forces and defeat a predatory boss and husband.

Benjamin Bevan is oafishly stentorian as Almaviva, his Countess played with long-suffering determination by Jana Holesworth. Vocally and dramatically they’re a well-matched pair. In this fast-moving ensemble piece, the cast are a winning combination of established professionals and students from Wales International Academy of Voice.

Harry Thatcher is an excellent Figaro, outwitted by Galina Averina’s super-bright Susanna. While Olivia Gomez puts the cherub into Cherubino, Kate Valentine’s Marcellina and Mark Saberton’s Antonio steal the show whenever they appear. Dodgy twins David Horton (Basilio/Curzio) and Ian Beadle (Bartolo) offer comic support alongside Stephanie Smith’s giddy Barbarina and a delightfully gaggly chorus.

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Production Details
Production nameThe Marriage of Figaro
VenueAberystwyth Arts Centre
StartsMarch 10, 2020
EndsMarch 10, 2020, then touring
Running time2hrs 40mins
TranslatorAmanda Holden
ComposerWolfgang Amadeus Mozart
DirectorRichard Studer
ConductorJonathan Lyness
Set designerRichard Studer
Lighting designerDan Saggars
CastBenjamin Bevan, David Horton, Galina Averina, Harry Thatcher, Ian Beadle, Jana Holesworth, Kate Valentine, Mark Saberton, Olivia Gomez, Stephanie Smith
ProducerMid Wales
VerdictCannily witty, big-hearted production of Mozart's opera
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Steph Power

Steph Power

Steph Power

Steph Power

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