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A magnificent marriage
1:17pm Tuesday 17th April 2012 in Reviews
The Marriage of Figaro
Welsh National Opera
MOZART’S The Marriage of Figaro, at The Bristol Hippodrome, gave us powerful solo performances, a magnificent orchestra and favourites from Mozart’s repertoire.
The production tells the story of Count Almaviva who has given up his right, as the droit de seigneur, to bed the bride of any of his servants on her wedding night. However, upon hearing that his beloved servant Suzanna is to marry his valet, Figaro, he regrets the decision and tries in vain to overturn the ruling.
Through a number of complex relationships, Suzanna, Figaro, the Countess and the page Cherubino conspire to avoid the union and show the Count for the heartless rogue he has become.
There were many highlights in this Welsh National Opera-sponsored production, one of which came from one of the leads, Elizabeth Watts as Suzanna, who provided refreshing, light amusement throughout the performance with little quips that kept the audience on their toes.
In one scene, while Suzanna was engaged in a heated conversation with the adoring Count, she practiced her ballet and, as the conversation became more vexing, her movements became more jagged and lively, to the amusement of the audience.
The strong duets with other protagonists set this role apart from the rest, although there were a few occasions, particularly in Act One, where Watts was unheard above the orchestra.
Another highlight was the splendid solo performance by Rebecca Evans, who played the heartbroken Countess. Her powerful voice and emotive performance set the bar high throughout the production.
– VICTORIA ASHFORD
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