New Zealand Opera has made the difficult decision to reschedule our 2020 production of The Marriage of Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the Government directive on audience sizes and the travel restrictions impacting international cast and creatives, we believe this is the only possible decision and one that prioritises the health and wellbeing of our performers, crew, orchestras, audiences and community at large. We intend to remount The Marriage of Figaro in September/October 2021 (subject to the availability of key creatives). This will be the same new production that we were due to start rehearsing next month and will continue the exciting work already achieved. The exact dates for 2021 are yet to be confirmed. Rest assured, if you are a ticket holder for either of these two productions you will be contacted directly.
Power, privilege and forgiveness
Comedy has always challenged the power structures of class and gender. The Marriage of Figaro did so from its first operatic performance three years before the French Revolution in 1786 and Beaumarchais’s once banned play, written a few years earlier. In this new production, director Lindy Hume and her creative team will explore the potent politics of this landmark opera and what it means in a modern context.
Composer Mozart and librettist Da Ponte did not shy away from writing roles for strong female characters who tested the status quo. In the story, it appears that Count Almaviva has all the power, but in actual fact, the maid Susanna uses her native wit and intelligence to regain the upper hand, with the help of the Countess. At the end, it is the Countess who flips the narrative, demonstrating the power of forgiveness.
The story unfolds in a single day of madness and trickery, with the non-stop action underscored by the glorious music that has made this opera an enduring favourite for more than two centuries. The production will be conducted by the thrilling young Greek musician Zoe Zeniodi, making her New Zealand Opera debut.
The cast features a host of exciting local and international performers. New Zealanders Joanna Foote and Bianca Andrew return home from their European careers to perform with New Zealand Opera. Mexican American bass-baritone Richard Ollasaba and US singer John Moore will be making their debut with the Company. We’re delighted to welcome back Emma Pearson, Andrew Collis and Kristin Darragh. Freemasons New Zealand Opera Artist Andrew Grenon will play Don Basilio/Don Curzio. Joel Amosa returns as Antonio and Freemasons New Zealand Studio Artist Anna Simmons will play Barbarina.
The opera will feature the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus in each centre, along with Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra Wellington and Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
Duration: The performance is 3 hours long with a 20 minute interval.
Surtitles: This opera is sung in Italian with English surtitles.
Composed by WA Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
Meet The Cast
Count John Moore
Countess Emma Pearson
Figaro Richard Ollarsaba
Susanna Joanna Foote
Cherubino Bianca Andrew
Marcellina Kristin Darragh
Bartolo Andrew Collis
Basilio/Curzio Andrew Grenon
Barbarina Anna Simmons
Antonio Joel Amosa
The Creative Team
Directed by Lindy Hume
Assistant Director Eleanor Bishop
Designed by Tracy Grant Lord
Lighting designed by Matthew Marshall
Conductor Zoe Zeniodi
Chorus Director Claire Caldwell (Akl), Michael Vinten (Wgtn), Ravil Atlas (Chch)