Preparations are well underway for English National Opera’s forthcoming production of ‘The Marriage of Figaro’. I have loved stepping into Cherubino’s shoes to perform the role, in director Fiona Shaw’s new production. Performances take place this October and rehearsals began back in August – What a journey it has been …this week we arrived at the London Coliseum!
“The London Coliseum, commissioned by the great theatrical impressario Oswald Stoll and designed by the flamboyant theatre architect Frank Matcham, opened as a Music Hall in 1904. It is considered to be Matcham’s masterpiece and is a sensational example of Edwardian architecture in the grand style. It quickly became known as ‘The Peoples Palace’; a theatre that was affordable to enter but which would also inspire a sense of wonder and excitement.” Information about guided tours.
We initially rehearsed at London’s largest studios, 3 Mills. At the 3 Mills rehearsals it was great getting to grips with the revolving stage (I have often finished rehearsals still revolving!), delving into the maze of this ‘Marriage of Figaro’ household and exploring the relationships within it.
“Just seven miles from central London, 3 Mills Studios is nestled on a picturesque and secure island oasis in the heart of London’s famous East End.” http://www.3mills.com/3
Our first rehearsals with the English National Opera orchestra took place last week at Cecil Sharp House with conductor Paul Daniel – it is always such an exciting moment to join the orchestra and hear the music with full instrumentation – it also means that the performances are just around the corner!
Come and join us! ‘Marriage of Figaro’ performances will take place on October 5th, 12th, 14th, 19th, 21st, 26th & Nov 3rd, 5th, 10th at 7pm | Oct 29th at 6pm. Tickets are available here.
There is also a ‘Marriage of Figaro’ Pre-performance talk on Wed 12th October at 5.15pm and Pre-performance tours on Sat 29th October & Sat 5th November at 2.30pm. More information.
About Mozart’s ‘Marriage of Figaro’:
“Widely regarded as the greatest comic opera ever written, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro whisks us through the whirlwind events of ‘one crazy day’ (to borrow Beaumarchais’s title for his original play) as Figaro, the Count’s valet, attempts to wed his beloved Susanna, the Countess’s maid, before their philandering master can bed her first.
The Marriage of Figaro was Mozart’s biggest success – it’s an edgy upstairs/downstairs comedy-drama in which the bullying and womanising Count Almaviva is comprehensively outwitted by his domestic staff.
Figaro and Susanna conspire with the lovelorn and neglected Countess to thwart the Count’s plans, while a sub-plot involving the Count’s lovestruck and disobedient young page Cherubino adds further to the Count’s confusion. The Count’s machinations include encouraging Marcellina, a woman to whom Figaro once promised marriage were he to default on a loan, to press her case; but it turns out that Marcellina is Figaro’s mother, and her lawyer Bartolo is his father.
Matters turn darkly farcical when the collision of Figaro’s and Susanna’s independent revenge plots brings jealousy to the fore – their relationship hangs momentarily in the balance before everything is a resolved and love wins through for all concerned – even the Count.” More info
About the English National Opera Production:
“Following her much-praised ENO productions of Vaughan Williams’s Riders to the Sea and Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers, leading stage and screen actress Fiona Shaw plots a path through The Marriage of Figaro’s moral maze of disguises, deceptions, sexual intrigue, mutual suspicion and mistaken identity. Former ENO Music Director Paul Daniel returns to conduct….”
Credits: Conductor Paul Daniel, Director Fiona Shaw, Set & Costume Designer Peter McKintosh, Lighting Designer Jean Kalman, Choreographer Kim Brandstrup, Translator Jeremy Sams . Cast includes: Figaro Iain Paterson, Susanna Devon Guthrie, Countess Kate Valentine, Count Roland Wood, Cherubino Kathryn Rudge, Marcellina Lucy Schaufer, Bartolo Jonathan Best, Basilio Timothy Robinson, Barbarina Mary Bevan