by Paula Citron
I am Figaro-ed out. That being said, the current COC revival of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro directed by Canadian Guillaume Bernardi is an enjoyable tonic. Bernardi has a great ensemble cast who want to act, and the opera moves across the stage like a well-ordered play. Both theatrically and musically, this production is a winner.
There is one cavil, however. While conductor Julia Jones has the music clip along at a brisk pace, the orchestra is too loud. She has misjudged the very ambient Four Seasons acoustics and drowns the singers.
Top of the line is American mezzo Sandra Piques Eddy as Cherubino, the only singer who consistently cuts through the orchestra. Young bass-baritone Robert Gleadow makes an impressive Figaro, but has to be careful about mugging. Chinese soprano Ying Huang as Susanna and baritone Russell Braun as the Count are delightful. Soprano Jessica Muirhead’s Countess lacks bite in her voice, however.
The Marriage of Figaro continues until Nov. 2.
From the Four Seasons Centre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.