Le Nozze di Figaro
by George Hall (The Stage)
David McVicar’s production of Mozart’s complex comedy maintains the same level of detailed observation that made it a hit back in 2006.
Though set designer Tanya McCallin’s inspiration runs out in Act 4- which is confusingly both inside and outside at the same time, and unconvincingly lit for the disguises to work – what happens elsewhere is highly specific both in terms of individual performances and in their complex interactions, as well as in the subsidiary Upstairs, Downstairs theme of watchful, not to say nosey servants. Figaro has rarely seemed so realistically intricate.
The cast has many strengths, led by the suavely intelligent Figaro of Erwin Schrott. In magnificent voice, he’s a little free with the notes, but entirely credible as a valet challenging his master and boldly fighting his corner. Eri Nakamura’s Susanna sounds brittle at times, but she enters into the vitality of the staging with aplomb.
At the top of the ladder, Marius Kwiecien’s arrogant Count is a tour-de-force, as strong in tone and definition as his vividly willful character.
Annette Dasch’s Countess is less vocally even, with some moments of blowsy tone and dodgy pitching blemishing a generally assured and sentient performance.
Jurgita Adamonyte’s Cherubino is perceptively sung and gracefully acted, and all the smaller roles are impressive.
Best of all is Colin Davis’ luminous conducting, immaculately balanced, and maintaining a flawless momentum without ever rushing Mozart’s notes.