Figaro’s Marriage – Mozart At Its Best

Last week, I had the immense pleasure of attending Opera Soc’s latest show: Figaro’s
Marriage.
Under the direction of Nick Porter alongside a cast of wonderful singers
and a talented orchestra, Opera Soc’s refreshing production seduced us with
impeccable craft.

No detail was left unattended during last Wednesday night’s opening performance at
the Riley Smith Hall. I can speak on behalf of the entire audience when I say that the
experience brought joy from beginning to end. There was not a note, gesture or wink
out of place and the company wooed us with beautiful performances.

Figaro himself, the “angry yet lovable idiot”, played by Simon Pratt, charmed the
whole crowd thanks to his incredible voice and alluring presence. His fiancée
Susanna, portrayed by Grace Watkins, was also not only a great actress and singer but
also beautifully characterised – flirtatious, smart and bubbling with life. Peter Law, the
Count and lustful theatre owner, who aimed to get Susanna onto his “casting couch”,
also gave a knock-out performance, and perfectly fit the role.

For me, Meiling Daniell-Greenhalgh playing Cherubino was a particular highlight.
She performed flawlessly as a young male adolescent, reckless but charming and ruled
by hormones, acting nervous around the beautiful women. Not only did Meiling
entertain us by embodying this role fully, she also truly enchanted the audience with
her unique pitch and artistic competence. The scenes and arias sung with Ellie Beach,
the Countess, were particularly delightful.

In short, the cast could not have fit their roles better. The choir and the orchestra
deserve a big Bravo, especially the conductor who, as a master of tempo, added a
great deal of colour and texture to the opera.

But it didn’t stop here.

The concept; to stage Mozart’s masterpiece, originally set in the late 1780’s, in the
1950’s was undoubtedly bold and unusual-yet incredibly refreshing. The opera was
zestful and colourful in its content which was accentuated by the vibrant colours of
the singers’ extravagant costumes.

Opera Soc’s moving, amusing and captivating revival of one of the greatest opera
classics was a definite triumph. The professionalism and talent of the entire cast, the
musicians and the hard work of the production and backstage team was truly
remarkable.

I cannot wait for Opera Soc’s next success.

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