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The Marriage of Figaro at English National Opera

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London Coliseum - English National Opera

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.

3 Mills Studios London

“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.” 

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.

Cherubino – English National Opera

Photograph courtesy of English National Opera’s Flickr photostream:  …For more Figaro rehearsal shots click here  

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  


Kathryn is an opera singer, concert and song recitalist from Liverpool. Described by What's on Stage as 'One of Britain's brightest young mezzos' and named as The Times 'Rising Star of Classical Music.' Kathryn regularly works with leading singers, instrumentalists, orchestras and ensembles in concerts and broadcasts nationally and internationally.

Kathryn has performed leading opera roles for companies including English National Opera, Glyndebourne and Opera North. She has made recordings for Hyperion, Chandos, Somm, Nyman Records and her debut CD 'Love's Old Sweet Song' was released by Champs Hill Records. Kathryn was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist 2015-17.

Kathryn trained at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, studying voice with Susan Roper and piano with Naomi Kayayan. Her many awards include the Joyce and Michael Kennedy Award for the Singing of Richard Strauss, Susan Chilcott Scholarship and The Joaninah Trust Award. Kathryn is an Associate Artist of the Royal Northern College of Music and teaches singing at The University of Manchester.

Kathryn co-founded Mersey Wave Music Choir in 2012 in her home city of Liverpool and was recipient of the Merseyside Woman of the Year Arts Award in 2016. Kathryn has a passion for championing and supporting live music making within community and healthcare settings; especially to support staff, patients and relatives throughout healthcare. In loving memory of her parents who were both cancer patients.

Read More here: Music and Cancer


Copyright Kathryn Rudge 2019