Review: O Susanna! Le Nozze di Figaro at Grass Valley’s Del Oro Theatre
Special to Prospector
Know & Go
WHAT: The Metropolitan Opera, LIVE in HD
WHEN: 9:55 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18
WHERE: The Del Oro Theatre, 165 Mill St., Grass Valley
TICKETS: $22 adults, $20 seniors, $15 children 12 and under & students with ID; Available online at http://www.sierratheaters.com/metopera or at the Del Oro Box Office
INFO: http://www.sierratheaters.com, 530-477-1100
This Saturday at Grass Valley’s Del Oro Theatre, Sierra Theaters presents Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro as the latest offering of The Met Opera Live in HD.
The Marriage of Figaro contains so many delights! Followers of these previews must bear with the following statement I’ve written again and again: no one, but no one, writes more ravishing music for the voice than Mozart.
Premiering in Vienna in 1786, the work has been an operatic benchmark for excellence ever since: Johannes Brahms, “In my opinion, each number in Figaro is a miracle; it is totally beyond me how anyone could create anything so perfect; nothing like it was ever done again, not even by Beethoven.”
Da Ponte’s libretto is based on the wildly successful play of the same name by Pierre Beaumarchais. Though at the time the play had been banned in Vienna due to its racy (for the time) content and its rather dim view of the aristocracy.
After some squabbling with the censors, though, the opera was allowed to go ahead, trimmed of its political themes. Mustn’t upset the aristocrats!
In a single day, factotum Figaro and his intended, the lovely, witty Susanna, must foil various plots to disrupt their nuptials. Count Almaviva, reigning master of his castle near Seville, Spain, (yes, the same Figaro as in The Barber of Seville, but that’s a different opera – by a different composer) desires Susanna for his own bed and attempts to wed Figaro off to someone else, a woman old enough to be his mother, who turns out to be, well, watch and see!
The Countess Almaviva acts as the lovers’ ally, and all’s well that ends well. Watch out also for the vindictive Dr. Bartolo and the hotly amorous servant Cherubino
If you are a fan of truly beautiful (and exceedingly difficult) vocal music, Le Nozze di Figaro is for you. And perhaps surprisingly, beneath all the silliness and plot turns, da Ponte’s libretto does have something serious to say about love.
Maestro James Levine conducts an updated new production of Mozart’s masterpiece, directed by Richard Eyre, who sets the action of this classic domestic comedy in an 18th-century manor house in Seville during the 1930s. ldar Abdrazakov leads the cast in the title role of the clever servant, opposite Marlis Petersen as Susanna. Peter Mattei appears as the philandering Count Almaviva and Amanda Majeski as his long-suffering wife. By all means, go!
John Deaderick is a local theater instructor, director, actor, and the author of Make Sweet the Minds of Men: Early Opera and Tragic Catharsis, available at Amazon.com.
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