Power. Privilege. Forgiveness.
Comedy has always challenged the power structures of class and gender. The Marriage of Figaro did so from its first operatic performance three years before the French Revolution in 1786 and Beaumarchais’s once banned play, written a few years earlier. In this new production, director Lindy Hume and her creative team will explore the potent politics of this landmark opera and what it means in a modern context.
Composer Mozart and librettist Da Ponte did not shy away from writing roles for strong female characters who tested the status quo. In the story, it appears that Count Almaviva has all the power, but in actual fact the maid Susanna uses her native wit and intelligence to regain the upper hand, with the help of the Countess. At the end, it is the Countess who flips the narrative, demonstrating the power of forgiveness.
The story unfolds in a single day of madness and trickery, with the non-stop action underscored by the glorious music that has made this opera an enduring favourite for more than two centuries. The production will be conducted by the thrilling young Greek musician Zoe Zeniodi, making her New Zealand Opera debut.
The cast features a host of exciting local and international performers. New Zealanders Joanna Foote and Bianca Andrew return home from their European careers to perform professionally with New Zealand Opera for the first time. Mexican American bass-baritone Richard Ollasaba and US baritone John Moore will be making their debut with the Company. We’re delighted to welcome back Emma Pearson as Countess Almaviva, Andrew Collis as Don Bartolo and Kristin Darragh as Marcellina. 2021Inaugural Freemasons Guest Artist Imogen Thirlwall will play Barbarina. Andrew Grenon will play Don Basilio/Don Curzio and Joel Amosa will play Antonio.
The opera will feature the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus in each main centre, along with Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra Wellington and Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
Composed by WA Mozart.
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte.