The Marriage of Figaro, LA Opera

03.30.15
James Conlon
Opera Today

On March 26, 2015, Los Angeles Opera presented Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro). The Ian Judge production featured jewel-colored box sets by Tim Goodchild that threw the voices out into the hall. Only for the finale did the set open up on to a garden that filled the whole stage and at the very end featured actual fireworks.

Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais wrote Le Mariage de Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) as a sequel to his Le Barbier de Seville, (The Barber of Seville). In his preface to the play, the author notes that it was the Prince of Conti who requested him to continue the story. Figaro, who actually represents the author, advocates revolution much more avidly in the play than in the opera. The play’s Paris premiere on April 27, 1784 was an enormous success. It ran for sixty-eight consecutive performances, earning higher box-office receipts than any other eighteenth century French play. Sources say that the author donated his profit to charity. The first English production opened late that same year and ran into early 1785.

On March 26, 2015, Los Angeles Opera presented Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), the libretto of which writer Lorenzo da Ponte based on Beaumarchais’ Le Mariage de Figaro. The Ian Judge production featured jewel-colored box sets by Tim Goodchild that threw the voices out into the hall. Only for the finale did the set open up on to a garden that filled the whole stage and at the very end featured actual fireworks. The eclectic costume designs by Deidre Clancy did not set the action in any particular era.

One of the best reasons for attending opera in Los Angeles is the conducting of James Conlon. His Mozart is always magical and this performance was no exception. His tempi were fresh and his interpretation revealed sonorities that are occasionally missed. Los Angeles Opera brought us a fabulous cast and they sang one of the best renditions of The Marriage of Figaro that I have head in quite a few years.  Read the rest of the review here