The Marriage of Figaro

Opera Australia presents The Marriage of Figaro - photo by Georges AntoniOpera Australia’s Young Artist Program has proved enormously successful in discovering and developing Australian singers, with seven of the program’s talented alumni set to perform in Sir David McVicar’s celebrated production The Marriage of Figaro at the Sydney Opera House from 18 October 2019.

Sparkling soprano Stacey Alleaume continues her meteoric rise after entering the program in 2016, taking the stage in her role debut as clever servant Susanna. She shares the role with Julie Lea Goodwin, who has recently enjoyed critical acclaim as Wendy in Whiteley.

Bass Richard Anderson, a mainstay on the opera stage, joined the program in 2003 and plays the role of Dr. Bartolo, with 2010 recipient Jane Ede reprising the role of the Countess. Traditional pants role, Cherubino, is performed by crowd favourite Anna Dowsley, while Baritone Andrew Moran, fresh from OA’s National Tour, plays Antonio. Dominica Matthews once again takes the stage as Marcellina.

Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini says it is a great privilege to foster young singers in Australia and see them perform professionally on the Sydney Opera House stage. “Our Young Artist Program has developed many wonderful opera singers who have gone on to perform internationally on the world’s most famous stages,” said Mr Terracini. “It’s so rewarding to see six of our alumni together in this production, each with a successful and bright career.”

Performing alongside our local talent is master of comedy Paolo Bordogna in his signature role as Figaro. Andrei Bondarenko reprises his commanding performance as the wayward Count Almaviva with Russian soprano Ekaterina Sadovnikova making her Opera Australia debut as the Countess. This ultimate ensemble opera – with trios, quartets, and a sextet – is performed under the brilliance of maestro Guillaume Tourniaire.

In this second instalment of his three Mozart trilogies for Opera Australia, internationally renowned director Sir David McVicar stages this sharp cat-and-mouse comedy set in the mid-1600s, a little more than a century before Mozart wrote the opera.

The luxurious costumes and set designs are faithful period reproductions thanks to the attentive eye of Tony Award-winning designer Jenny Tiramani, who presents the silks and marbles of the era with incredible authenticity. David Finn’s lighting cleverly transitions the stage from day to night with sunlight and moonbeams designed to illuminate from the overarching windows.

Between the witty, fast-moving libretto and the melodic, charming music, it’s easy to understand why The Marriage of Figaro is as entertaining today as it was when it debuted in Vienna in 1786. This comic romp is a classic domestic spectacle that pits Master against Servant in an archetypal tale as old as time.

Based on a play that was initially banned for its anti-aristocratic undertones, the opera makes a hero of the underclass, highlights the class divisions of the time and foreshadows the French Revolution that was brewing on the near horizon.

Conductor: Guillaume Tourniaire Director: Sir David McVicar Featuring: Andrei Bondarenko, Shane Lowrencev, Ekaterina Sadovnikova, Jane Ede, Stacey Alleaume, Julie Lea Goodwin, Paolo Bordogna, Andrew Jones, Anna Dowsley, Dominica Matthews, Richard Anderson, Benjamin Rasheed, Graeme Macfarlane, Kate Amos, Andrew Moran, Phoebe-Celeste Humphreys, Anna Yun, Opera Australia Chorus and Orchestra Revival Director: Andy Morton Set & Costume Designer: Jenny Tiramani Lighting Designer: David Finn

The Marriage of Figaro
Joan Sutherland Theatre – Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point
Season: 18 October – 2 November 2019

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Image: Opera Australia presents The Marriage of Figaro – photo by Georges Antoni