Le Nozze di Figaro

Lorenzo_da_Ponte_by_Pekino.jpgTom Service [The Guardian, 14 October 2005]
At the end of Glyndebourne Touring Opera’s production of The Marriage of Figaro – a revival of Graham Vick’s 2000 staging, directed here by Jacopo Spirei – there is an unforgettable image. After the Count’s plea for forgiveness from the radiant Countess of Kate Royal, the hurtling bustle of the final chorus ends with Royal being laid on the ground and swaddled in a white sheet and flowers. It’s a strange, pagan-looking ritual of virginal purity that also looks like a funerary rite. I have never been more sure that, far from a resolution to the drama, the events of Da Ponte’s crazy day are doomed only to repeat themselves, at the cost of the Countess’s sanity.