Figaro ticks all the boxes for me: Mozart, a lively liberetto, and enough twists and turns to keep me awake (not to mention Mrs Ould who was going to the opera for the first time and had expressed some doubt as to whether my prior excitement was entirely merited).
The overture is a famous piece of music which hints of the rapid pace that is to come…
Through all the twists and turns we see people dealing with love and rejection and (apparent) two-timing. There was some wonderful direction from Benedict Andrews to supplement the music and acting. Particularly clever was the scene in the Countess’s bed chamber. The scene opened with maids removing old flowers from the vase and putting in new ones. The 2 bunches of flowers then became visible markers of wilted and flourishing love respectively and the singers took up the bunches as required to denote their mood. But this was only trumped by the entrance of the count from his hunting trip, dragging in a shot stag. The stag then became the marker of the character who was tricked with each, in turn, dragging or holding the carcass as they sang of being duped by others. All very clever.
But, as expected, all is finally resolved and the cast sing of the victory of love and forgiveness over all.
You can’t help thinking that after all the shenanigans of the past 2 hours it’s going to take a little more than just saying “sorry”. But then that’s the point – there is nothing else that will do the job. No good work than can undo what has been done. I think there’s a sermon illustration there somewhere..
images: Opera Australia