"Fun and frolics at Irish National Opera's Figaro" Bachtrack Review

Wednesday, 18 April, 2018
News Figaro Bachtrack  Review

It’s an hilarious comedy of errors lampooning the foibles of human nature (well, generally the men) with the most divine music and heavenly arias.

The action takes place in Seville in the late-18th century where a servant couple, Figaro and Susanna, are about to marry. Their master, Count Almaviva has repudiated his dubious right (Le droit du seigneur) of sleeping with any of the maids that takes his fancy. However, he lusts mightily after Susanna and uses his position to try and entice Susanna into bed with him. Countess Almaviva still manages to love him, despite his lamentable neglect of her and pursuit of others. Further complications ensue with different characters in various disguises having designs on Figaro and the Countess – in short, a plot worthy of any screwball comedy.

Director Patrick Mason created a finely detailed production that allowed the inherent humour to bubble over with good fun. The action was updated to the 1930s – think Downton Abbey. There were maids galore busying themselves about their domestic chores and a three-tiered pink wedding cake conjuring up the idea of wedding preparations, while the Count strutted around in his three-piece suit. There was a slightly surreal moment in Act 3 when the chorus suddenly morphed into hippy 1960s characters, full of flares and lurid colours and then proceeded to boogie for the festive chorus at the end.

The sets by Francis O’Connor were simple but convincing: wooden panels that could be moved about represented a bedchamber, an interior of the Count’s house or, in the final act, a pavilion in the garden.

Read the full review HERE