The Marriage of Figaro

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Previewed 8 April 2004, Opened 16 April 2004, Closed 19 June 2004 at the Savoy Theatre in London

Raymond Gubbay and Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen's Savoy Opera presents a major new production of Mozart's comic opera The Marriage of Figaro in London, sung in English. Performed in repertory with Rossini's The Barber Of Seville.

Mozart's delightful comic opera of marital infidelity makes an ideal pairing with Rossini's The Barber of Seville. Comedy and intrigue are played to the full whilst Mozart's score includes many of his best known arias and duets and reaches sublime perfection in its moments of final reconciliation.

The cast for this production of The Marriage of Figaro in London features Doreen Curran as 'Cherubino', Tamsin Coombs as 'Susanna', Yvette Bonner as 'Barbarina', Darren Jeffrey as 'Figaro', Damian Thantrey as 'the Count' and Andrea Creighton aas 'the Countess' with the Royal Philharmonic Opera Orchestra conducted by Paul McGrath. Translated by Jeremy Sams, directed by Matthew Richardson with designs by Gideon Davey and costumes by Emma Ryott.

"For anyone who knows the opera, there will be no fresh insights, but the story is told unfussily in period costumes with carefully detailed acting, even if most of the laughs still come from Jeremy Sams' familiar English text. The set, designed by Gideon Davey, looks rather cheap and paltry, however, and the body of strings in the pit sounds rather thin. The cast is young and mostly good - very good in the case of Doreen Curran's creamy-toned Cherubino, Tamsin Coombs's pert Susanna and Yvette Bonner's Barbarina ... Darren Jeffrey's Figaro, looking astonishingly like the young Bryn Terfel in the role, is robust and confident, and gains in presence as the performance goes on." The Guardian

"Of the two operas showing at Savoy Theatre, The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, the one in the wigs and breeches is the one to choose. This Marriage of Figaro was straightforward to a fault - not the sort of evening that makes headlines, but closer to the overall approach that most people expected from London's new privately-financed opera company. One of the hopes to come out of this new entrant into opera is that Savoy Opera will be able to provide the up-and-coming generation of young singers with big opportunities in a theatre of a helpfully small size. There were two of note in the cast here: Darren Jeffery as a sturdy Figaro... and New Zealander Andrea Creighton, who sang the Countess with a full, lyric soprano that holds clear promise for the future. There were no serious weaknesses among the other main roles... Matthew Richardson's play-it-straight-down-the-line production here never went beyond doing the usual things in the usual way. Not much felt fresh, as it should." The Financial Times

"Mozart's Figaro fares a lot better, thanks above all to Jeremy Sams's brilliant translation and Matthew Richardson's lively pacing of the drama and assured grasp of character motivation and plot. This is a staging with no novel agenda - Gideon Davey's minimal sets look cheap and not very cheerful, the budget having been spent on Emma Ryott's handsome period costumes - but it is intelligent and stylish. Every move, gesture and facial expression is immaculately worked out without looking contrived. The likeable young cast is headed by Darren Jeffrey's Bryn Terfel lookalike (but, alas, not soundalike) Figaro and Tamsin Coombs's pretty, sparky Susanna." The Sunday Times

The Marriage of Figaro in London at the Savoy Theatre previewed from 8 April 2004, opened on 16 April 2004 and closed 19 June 2004 - performed in repertory with The Barber Of Seville.