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MET Opera: The Barber of Seville - Dendy Cinemas

Home > Brisbane > Cinema | Film Reviews | Opera
by Helen Belli (subscribe)
I am now living in Kariong on the Central Coast
We all can use a little Figaro, Figaro, Figaro

Opera can be fun and this production worked a treat.

The amazing Rossini composed this great opera buffa in three weeks. It has been in the current repertoire since it was first performed in London in 1818. It is hard to believe it was booed off the stage at its premiere in 1816.

This is all a bit backwards. Mozart wrote The Marriage of Figaro 30 years earlier, which actually follows the story of how the Count falls in love with Rosina and by tricky means and with the help of the town factotum Figaro, marries his love [that's this opera]. Sadly not much later the marriage is in trouble. Why? Well the Count is in love with the Countesses maid, who is going to marry Figaro [that's the other opera].

Enough of that, any more details may lead to confusion, and after all opera is messy enou. Rosina, a role written for a mezzo soprano but today it needs a coloratura mezzo, Isobel Leonard is just the ticket. She is as beautiful as is her secure and thrilling voice. For some reason known only to the costume designer, for the entire 1st act she is clad in her underwear and peignoir and receives gentlemen in the drawing room. Perhaps today this is acceptable, but this production is set in the eighteen century! In the second act she is dressed in an appropriate gown showing her gorgeous size 6 figure. In general, the costumes are either elegant or goofy according to status.

Count Almaviva [Lawrence Brownlee] has a difficult coloratura role to sing and does a magnificent job, which earns him a well-deserved standing ovation. The stage projects along a board walk which extends in front of the conductor. He sings very complicated bel canto passages with his back to him. Bravo to the star of the show.

Figaro [Christopher Maltman] has a powerful baritone voice and he plays his comic role with gusto and is obviously enjoying himself.

This is opera at its best. The next in the series in HD from the Met is for Wagnerian lovers in late February, The Mastersingers of Nurnberg, with James Levine conducting. See you there.
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Where: Dendy Portside Hamilton
Palace Centro Fortitude Valley
BCC Pacific Fair Gold Coast Event Cinemas Toowoomba Strand
Cost: $25
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