After a 12 month postponement, The Marriage of Figaro makes its way onto the stage in 2021. With sold-out performances in Auckland and limited availability in Wellington and Christchurch, we can see that our NZ audience was ready to step out to the theatre once again. One final performance to go in Auckland before the company travels to other main centers to complete the season. Thank you to everyone who has written to us saying how much they enjoyed the production, below are our Auckland reviews.
“Lindy Hume’s latest production of the work for NZ Opera is a dazzling piece of theatre with extraordinary voices and inspired acting.” John Daly-Peoples NZARTS REVIEW
“New Zealand Opera’s new production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro represents the company’s single foray into the “traditional” repertoire for 2021, having been postponed from the 2020 season due to last year’s Covid-19 restrictions. It is a production well worth waiting for, as the refreshing direction and production and wonderful ensemble cast and a production that brought the masterpiece to life to a rare extent.” Simon Holden BACHTRACK
Marriage Made in Heaven
10 Jun, 2021 05:00 AM2 minutes to read
By: William Dart
Lindy Hume’s staging of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, her seventh engagement with New Zealand Opera, marks a glorious, life-affirming return to mainstage productions.
Once again, the Australian takes a feminist stance on a classic that English writer Virginia Woolf once hailed as the vindication of opera.
John Moore’s Count is a dashing focal point for these politics, a louche lecher, running a gamut of emotions from childlike petulance to snarling rage.
Alongside him, Richard Ollarsaba’s affable Figaro stands for the more conscientious male of 2021, both men catching their characters with exemplary Mozartian style.
Emma Pearson’s Countess gives us her exquisitely nuanced “Porgi Amor”, roaming, distracted, through mysterious pillars created by Tracy Grant Lord’s ingenious set.
Yet she participates with verve in the frenetic comedy of mistaken identities and entrapment. Her accomplice, Joanna Foote’s Susanna, is as fetching in the snap of recitative as in her heart-melting final aria.
Bianca Andrew’s lovelorn Cherubino, a young man played by a woman, who eventually has to don a dress for further deception, was a highlight. Her first aria, was delivered with the hip-swivelling swagger of a drag king, with every elegant musical inflection in place.
Kristin Darragh’s Marcellina deploys her rich mezzo with theatrical sass. Smaller roles were astutely handled by Andrew Collis, Andrew Grenon and Imogen Thirlwall, with Joel Amosa in fine comedic form as Antonio.
This was, as it must be, an evening of superb arias, until Matthew Marshall’s lighting illuminates the final of many memorable ensembles in a perhaps ironically golden glow.
Tonight’s collective triumph owes much to the omnipresent and lusty-voiced chorus, also acting as silent sceneshifters. And this Figaro would have been much poorer without conductor Zoe Zeniodi setting off Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra with a whirlwind overture and never letting up.