Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Praise for Figaro

Nuccia Focile (Susanna) and Shenyang (Figaro) in Seattle Opera's The Marriage of Figaro. Philip Newton photo 
"Fast-moving, spontaneous, and cheeky, this is a show with comic verve, but it’s also a show that makes you think. Probing these issues and doing justice to the great Mozartean score requires a terrific ensemble cast, and Seattle Opera has put together two of them." - The Seattle Times

"It's a delightfully engaging take on familiar Figaro: crisp, vividly paced, spiced with youthful charm, visually handsome and original – and culminating in a luminously staged ensemble that does justice to Mozart's vision of reconciliation." - Bachtrack 

"The opening-night show on Saturday boasted the dashing, resonant Figaro of Chinese star Shenyang..." - The Seattle Times 

Karin Mushegain (Cherubino). Philip Newton photo
"Karin Mushegain delivered a charming, imaginatively sung Cherubino," - Bachtrack 

"Lang kept the action in constant motion as his singers fearlessly fondled, threw themselves at each other and traded sexual innuendos ... Lang and his cast’s focus on emotional realism meant the characters were refreshingly three-dimensional, landing some wonderfully poignant moments." -  Queen Anne & Magnolia News

"Vocally, no performance surpasses Bernarda Bobro’s captivating 'Dove sono.' The Countess’ Act 3 lament presents a notorious test that even the loftiest divas approach with trepidation. (A few years back, at her Benaroya Hall recital, soprano RenĂ©e Fleming solicited audience suggestions for encores; when someone called out 'Dove sono!', she responded, with a wry half-smile, 'You sing it.') Frighteningly difficult in its simplicity, it’s a tune so clear and pure it exposes the slightest imperfection. Of which there were none thanks to Bobro’s soprano, silvery and fluent—think liquid mercury." - Seattle Weekly 

The Seattle Opera Chorus in The Marriage of Figaro. Philip Newton photo
"The outstanding performances of (this) cast came from the aristo couple. Morgan Smith's warm-voiced Almaviva was intensely likeable and obviously still in love with his wife but frustrated by his inability to control the chaos around him... including that caused by his own libido." - Bachtrack 

"[Nuccia] Focile’s Susanna was both spontaneous and polished in every detail." - The Seattle Times

"All the cast looked great in Elizabeth Whiting’s imaginative clothes, which combined frock coats and denim with high-tops." - The Seattle Times

Caitlin Lynch (Countess Almaviva), Laura Tatulescu (Susanna) and Elizabeth Pojanowski (Cherubino). Philip Newton photo 
"Laura Tatulescu’s feisty Susanna and John Moore’s complex Count were standouts, but keeping right up with them were Caitlin Lynch’s warm-voiced Countess, Aubrey Allicock’s mellifluous and funny Figaro, and Elizabeth Pojanowski’s ardent Cherubino." - The Seattle Times 

"Jonathan Dean’s translated captions, wittily updated, added an extra punch to the dialogue. The chorus, whisked on and off the stage for brief vignettes, sang with spirit." - The Seattle Times 

Caitlin Lunch (Countess Almaviva and John Moore). Photo by Jacob Lucas 
"Philip Kelsey’s fortepiano continuo — just the right instrument, too, a wonderful Anton Walter replica — cleverly knit together the recitatives, arias, and orchestral tuttis into a seamless whole." - The Seattle Times

"Another big plus came from Gary Thor Wedow's alert, vividly shaped conducting. From the Overture he set a tone for sprightly, flexible tempi that were vividly in sync with Lang's stage sensibility. Wedow allowed us to revel in the variety of Mozart's score, from lightning flashes of wit to Sturm und Drang fulminations." - Bachtrack 

"Among the minor roles, Steven Cole as Basilio, an intriguer, makes the biggest impact, bringing him a brilliant character voice, a delicious nasality somewhere between an oboe and Paul Lynde." - Seattle Weekly 

Steven Cole (Don Basilio). Photo by Philip Newton