The Kit and Kaboodle reviewed the Marriage of Figaro from the Welsh National Opera (WNO) at the Mayflower Theatre Southampton and it made a striking evening out!
This opera sung in English is highly enjoyable, a great first show for anyone new to the genre to go and see. Be prepared for the 3.25hour performance time. The WNO cast sing their hearts out, and for a couple of the characters they perform for the whole time.
Dramatic and melancholy, funny and farcical, intrigue and suspicion this performance of the Marriage of Figaro has it all. Will the Countess (Elizabeth Watts ) and the servants get away with their plans? or will the Count find out the deception? Will Cherubino (Naomi O’Connell) find love? And will Suzzanna (Anna Devin) ever get to marry Figaro?
The set designs by Ralph Koltai are striking and paired down, they are modern but with a twist of 18th century décor to compliment the corseted dresses and tail coats of the performers. The whole of Act 1 is played against a grey backdrop . You are drawn into the narrative by the music and the voice’s, then the light becomes important to the scene as the shadows enhance the dramatic performance.
The set change between Act 1 and Act 2, allows you to witness the slick production team working their magic, turning one plain room into a glorious boudouir. The countess played by Elizabeth Watts, provides a touching and evocative performance of a woman who has been abandoned by her husband (The count who is chasing after girls all over town!).
David Stout who plays the key role of Figaro acts the part brilliantly, his humorous interactions with Cherubino, his cunning plans and his quick thinking really will draw you in. Cherubino’s character has similar characteristics to the pantomime character Buttons, a hapless boy who wants nothing more than love but and finds himself in the strangest of situations!
Yes its three and a bit hours long, but with the plot twists and turns you will want to know what happens, and the WNO performers keep your interest till the end. Bravo!!
Catch the WNO at the Mayflower until the 26th March, click here for details.
WNO are touring the Figaro trilogy of opera’s: The Barber of Seville, the Marriage of Figaro and Figaro gets a Divorce.