It is an out and out masterpiece so any new production of The Marriage of Figaro matters a great deal. Opera Australia is opening a new production at the Sydney Opera House on 6 August and at the Victorian Arts Centre on 12 November. There is every reason to have high expectations given that the director is David McVicar, already much admired here for his Don Giovanni in 2014 and his ROH production of Faust.
McVicar directed a hugely successful Figaro at Covent Garden in 2006 which has been revived repeatedly but he is approaching this opera afresh with a different designer: Jenny Tiramani responsible for both sets and costumes. She and McVicar have worked together successfully on a number of occasions including Andrea Chenier at ROH and Anna Bolena at the Met. She recently won a Tony for Twelfth Night in New York. Tiramani is Director of the School of Historical Dress in London so there should be no gratuitous modernization here.
Knighted in 2012, Sir David McVicar, born in Glasgow in 1966, attributes his youthful love of theatre to the Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre, a pretty encouraging starting point given the high standards of the Citz at that time with its commitment to intellectual rigour and ravishing style. In opera, he has a reputation for drawing convincing, insightful acting performances from singers. Here he will have some high quality artists with whom to bring this masterpiece to new life; so much to anticipate.
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