Le nozze di Figaro - Royal Opera House, 16 September 2013
Now this is more like it. After the disappointing start to the ROH season with Turandot comes the best revival yet of David McVicar's 2006 production. The comedy sparkles, the social satire bites, and three and a half hours pass in no time.
Style.com has first dibs on the costume designs Azzedine Alaïa has come up with for the LA Phil's forthcoming Marriage of Figaro. Christopher Maltman and Dorothea
Röschmann as Count
and Countess Almaviva will wear the outfits sketched above.
The Countess's dress is reminiscent of Alaïa's signature skintight knits, as seen on Megan Fox below - bet Dorothea won't be touching any doughnuts for a while. The Count's suit marks a departure for the designer, who normally steers clear of menswear.
Prom 60 - Le Nozze di Figaro - Royal Albert Hall, 28 August 2012 Handel Furioso / The Emperor of Atlantis - Arcola Tent, 29 August 2012
Glyndebourne's new production of Le nozze di Figaro received some ecstatic reviews when it opened at home base a couple of months ago. In front of a capacity audience, the transfer to a Proms semi-staging didn't fare so well.
The Marriage of Figaro - English National Opera, 5 October 2011 (first night)
In Fiona Shaw's new ENO production, Barbarina, bottle in hand, is pissed as a fart from start to finish. She even throws up in a corner at one point. Would she really go for Cherubino or the Count otherwise, Shaw seems to be asking. Like a Geordie lass on a Friday night, Shaw thinks it's the beer goggles that make Barbarina such an easy target for her randy suitors. She allowed Mary Bevan to turn this usually throwaway role into something worth watching.
But more importantly Shaw points to a whole new direction in Mozart interpretation. What if Donna Anna succumbed to Don Giovanni because she was three sheets to the wind, and only chucked him out when she sobered up? What if Dorabella and Fiordiligi warmed up with a few beers before grabbing the 'Albanians' - whose disguises they were too plastered to twig? What if the entire field of Mozartian female morals could be explained away as an anatomical response to booze? Has Fiona Shaw opened up a can of Fosters here?
Le nozze di Figaro - Haus Für Mozart, Salzburg, 30 July 2011
Claus Guth's cinematically-inspired 2006 production sets Figaro in funereal Bergmanesque monochrome. Hitchcock's The Birds is referenced in the dead crows and autumnal leaves littering the bare rooms. It looks more like a particularly scary The Turn of the Screw than a Mozart comedy.
Le nozze di Figaro - Opera Holland Park, 2 July 2011 (first night)
Liam Steel's new production of Le nozze di Figaro gets a Downton Abbey update to early 20th century England, with Figaro himself an unnervingly camp Jeeves-like butler/fixer. Otherwise it's remarkably similar to David McVicar's Royal Opera House production, right down to the fussy clutter of underlings in every scene.