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|Oliver Ringelhahn||Don Curzio|
|Christian Schmidt||Costumes/Costume Designer, Set Decoration/Design|
Posted October 1, 2010
The tempo of the music bothered me several times.
I would not recommend this version to those who like to listen to the standard version of Le Nozze di Figaro like I.
Posted October 1, 2010
Simply put, this Figaro is HEAVY! It is clear from the get-go that all in not well in the Almaviva household. It is very apparent Susanna is having a torrid affair with the the Count, that Figaro is clearly of two minds regarding his marriage to her, and that Cherubino has made love to every woman in the mansion. The set is stark and barren complete with dead birds and fallen leaves, dominated by a gigantic staircase both ascending and descending into the nether reaches of the Count's manse. The singing here is top-notch. The handsome Italian Ildebrando d'Arcangelo shines as Figaro, his warm bass-baritone easily emcompassing the two octave range of Mozart's famous leading man. He is also a gifted actor, coping with the difficult physicality given him by the director with all the aplomb and confidence of a straight actor. He is well-paired with Russian bombshell Anna Netrebko as Susanna. Though not all will enjoy her full-lyric sound in a role that usually goes to a soubrette voice, her instrument is well-suited to the weighty concept and she is also quite wonderful on stage. While she takes a little while to warm up--the opening duets are far from magical--she is simply radiant, both vocally and physically in "Deh, vieni non tardar." Dorothea Roschmann sings the Countess with style and a certain amount of force. Here is a woman who is openly having an affair with Cherubino, yet still has the chutzpah to deny it to everyone, including herself. Her Countess is rough around the edges and very sexual, far from the tortured flower of other exponents of the role such as Renee Fleming. Danish baritone Bo Skovhus portrays a sexually virile, personally conflicted Count. His voice is quite light and loses focus at the bottom of his register, however, his high notes (though they are few and far between) are phenominal and he seems to have no limit to the upper part of his voice. Perhaps the most interesting portrayal comes from the Cherubino of Christine Schaefer. In this production it is Cherubino who is the focal point of the action. He is actually mirriored by a dancer/actor playing Cupid or some kind of angel of love. This extra character appears throughout the production manipulating the characters according to his own whims. Cherubino is merely the physical embodiment of love. Schaefer is quite brilliant as the troublesome thorn in everyone's side, vocally sure and theatrically adroit at the difficult role. If this is your first visit to the wonder that is the Marriage of Figaro, then I suggest you begin somewhere else. Go with the 1994 production from Glyndebourne conducted by Bernard Haitnik and starring a gorgeous (if a little fuller-figured) Renee Fleming as the Countess, a sparking, girlish Susanna from the always entertaining Alison Hagley, and a magnetic Figaro from Gerard Finley. But, if you are looking for an interpretation of Figaro that is new, different and challenging, this is the one for you!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.