Le Nozze di Figaro at ROH ó Four Reviews

Le Nozze di Figaro
Richard Morrison at Covent Garden [Times Online, 2 February 2006]
Few of the trillion Mozart celebrations this year will match David McVicarís new Royal Opera staging of Figaro for insight or passion. It isnít a perfect show. Act IV sags, and seems untidily staged in comparison with the meticulously observed domestic warfare that has gone before. Dorothea Rˆschmann sings the Countessís despairing arias with touching intensity, but also intermittent waywardness.
Click here for remainder of article.

Cleverness with a hole in it
By Andrew Clark [Financial Times, 2 February 2006]
No one could possibly object. The Royal Opera’s new Figaro, directed by David McVicar, looks good and sounds good. The set-changes are breathtakingly clever. The costumes seem vaguely in period (1820s actually). The conducting is fluent, the casting strong. Everyone can go home satisfied, then, can’t they? Not really. There is a hole at the heart of this Figaro, a gaping void of ideas, a mentality that puts surface-dressing above interpretation. We get no flavour of why the work had such incendiary implications for its day, or what it might say to us now. What Covent Garden is marketing here is reproduction opera.
Click here for remainder of article.

Le Nozze di Figaro
Tim Ashley [The Guardian, 2 February 2006]
David McVicar’s new production transposes Mozart’s comedy from its usual 18th century setting to a French chateau on the eve of the July 1830 revolution that saw the restored Bourbon monarchy replaced by the liberal bourgeois era of Louis Philippe. The events of that summer were famously commemorated by Delacroix in Liberty Leading the People. The production charts the transformation of Figaro, gloriously incarnated by Erwin Schrott, from naive, liveried flunky to a politically engaged figure who belongs on Delacroix’s barricades.
Click here for remainder of article.

For Better or Worse, a Bourgeois ‘Figaro’ in London
By DANIEL J. WAKIN [NY Times, 4 February 2006]
LONDON, Feb. 3 ó In this European musical capital, the highest-profile homage to Mozart during his anniversary year came about with surprising casualness.
“We have strong productions of ‘CosÏ Fan Tutte,’ ‘Don Giovanni,’ ” said Antonio Pappano, the music director of the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, “as well as ‘The Magic Flute.’ ” But the existing version of “Le Nozze di Figaro” had been put to rest, and it was time to bring the opera back.
Click here for remainder of article.

image_description=Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-1799)