REVIEW: The Marriage of Figaro, Opera North

Opera North's The Marriage of Figaro. Picture: CLIVE BARDA/ArenaPAL.
Opera North's The Marriage of Figaro. Picture: CLIVE BARDA/ArenaPAL.

Anyone under the misapprehension that opera is stuffy and boring should prepare to have their preconceptions shattered with Opera North’s joyous production of The Marriage of Figaro.

The plot of Mozart’s beloved comic classic has everything from lust-fuelled feudal lords to cross-dressing casanovas, while somewhere in the mix the titular hero unwittingly almost marries his own estranged mother. Now who said opera was boring...

Taking place on the somewhat eventful day of Figaro’s marriage to his beloved Susanna, the story has more twists and turns than an episode of Lost.

Opera North has, as ever, attracted an outstanding group of artists to make up its cast including Richard Burkhard’s charming Figaro and Quirijn de Lang’s faithless Count.

But it’s the women who carry this performance. Ana Maria Labin (Countess Almaviva) and Silvia Moi (Susanna) both give captivating performances but it’s Helen Sherman’s brilliantly comic turn as the male character Cherubino which threatens to steal the show.

Add to this the sumptuous costumes and stage design, which create a feast for the eyes as much as the ears, and it makes for a few hours of escapism that will warm your heart on a cold winter’s night.

The final act ends with the cast brandishing aloft sparklers - which is fitting because this whole production sparkles from beginning to end.

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