Great cast, wonderful music, interesting production
Le Nozze Di Figaro is one of my favourite operas of all time, so naturally I wanted to see this production. My favourite productions of this opera are the 1993 and 1994 ones and I also love the 1975 Jean Pierre Ponelle film.
This production was interesting. The costumes and sets are untraditional and generally good with a surrealist approach though some of Act 2 and the beginning of act 3 are a little too bleak for my tastes. However the act 4 set is beautiful. The picture quality is good, the sound clear and the camera work clever.
Musically it was also good. The orchestra play with style, pathos and vigour, and I was especially taken with how discreet the cello and harpsichord continuo was. Harnencourt's conducting is fine generally, but a little too ponderous towards the end of act 2.
Staging is decent. Acts 3 and act 4 were staged quite nicely, but I wasn't entirely blown away by act 2 and to a much lesser extent act 1, with a few things that irritated me. Such as Basilio indicating to the Count for Susanna to take a seat when there isn't even a chair on set or the Countess inviting Susanna into her chamber when they'd been standing together for at least three minutes.
I loved though the singing and acting. Initially I wasn't sure about Anna Netrebko as Susanna, but actually I found her very charming. Bo Skovkhus is great as the menacing Count and Dorothea Roschmann is a passionate Countess, her Dovo Sono is beautiful. Ildebrando D'Archangelo is a handsome and hearty Figaro and Christine Schaffer an amorous and very well sung and acted Cherubino. Bartolo, Marcellina, Barbarina and Basilio are wittily performed as well.
The addition of the male angel I can understand is a source of irritation, although he is performed well I didn't get the significance of his presence in correlation to the plot. All in all, interesting and decent if mainly for the cast. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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