(Opera Australia) (2007)
Another can’t-miss piece, perhaps the greatest opera buffa of all, with typical Rossini touches – beautiful young lady, thwarted passion, a nasty guardian, identity confusion and a comically manipulative mastermind – was staged by OA over the country in 2007.
Rossini’s score is uneven but joyous, featuring many popular melodies (e.g. the smash cavatina Largo al Factotum Della Citta – “Figaro sù, Figaro giù! Figaro quà, Figaro la!”). TVC saw the production in Melbourne (14/4/07), when there was last minute shuffling of the cast, Figaro being laryngeally inflamed, and replaced by his servant. The key role of Rosina (mezzo) was taken by Emma Matthews (high soprano) who was wonderful (but Warwick Fyfe, as disgusting old Dr Bartolo, seemed a little off-form, quite unusually for him).
Silly set; lovely orchestral work by Richard Bonynge.
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