Figaro Getting Married

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Figaro.jpgOpposite marriage be praised, Miss California! Seattle Opera's current production of The Marriage of FIgaro celebrates matrimony both madcap and sentimental, and, along the way, introduces Seattle audiences to a stellar performer, a German mezzo soprano named Daniela Sidram in the "pants" role of Cherubino. Ms. Danzig's tall, gangly frame bring to mind the physical stature of Dame Joan Sutherland; her characterization recalls a bubbly Beverly Sills. That said, Miss California, it gets a bit tricky: Cherubino is a love-struck adolescent boy sung by an adult woman, who disguises himself as a girl in order to, well, as we said, it gets confusing.

An ensemble opera, this Figaro benefits from a strong performance by Marius Kwiecien, Seattle Opera's Artist of the Year in 2007, who sings the role of Count Almaviva with sympathetic authority ("Vengeance is the thinking man's pleasure"). Oren Gradus plays the title role as a bit of a Dan Aykroyd doofus, while Twyla Robinson and Christine Brandes share the magnificent "Letter Duet" that dazzled the prisoners of Shawshank Redemption.

The production is seamlessly directed by Peter Kazaras and conducted by Dean Williamson, longtime Young Artist Series collaborators and consummate professionals. (We're still unsure why lighting designer Connie Yun opted for the bizarre mood-shift at the end of the second act; it's the leaky drop of ketchup from this lovely evening of theater.)

Yet, if this be the course of heterosexual love, Mozart and his librettist Lorenzo da Ponte, got the recipe right. Opposites: a choice you're free to lap up! And an alternate cast (in the five principal roles) if you've been raised to think differently.

Photo: As a teenager with raging hormones, Cherubino (center, sung by Daniela Sindram) finds himself (herself?) at the center of attention. Seattle Opera photo by Rosarii Lynch.

Seattle Opera presents Marriage of Figaro at McCaw Hall through May 16. Tickets online or by calling 206-389-7676

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on May 4, 2009 9:43 AM.

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