The IU Opera Theater’s production of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” is a lively musical romp with plenty of action and of course, great music.
Guest stage director Michael Ehrman is not afraid of fun nor of the opera’s serious moments. Staging ranged from intimate duets with plenty of motion to set pieces with the singers allowed plenty of room to have their say. There were even some group scenes that bordered on the burlesque. Dance director Grace Schwartz offered a nicely whimsical take on country choreography.
Like stage director Erhrman, guest conductor Will Crutchfield is quite willing to take chances. His faith in the singers’ abilities to shape their pieces with the freedom that Mozart allowed his own singers added to the excitement. This along with a sure hand from the pit clearly helped the singers to very much make the opera and the roles their own
I do have to offer one caveat, the subtitle for “Le Nozze di Figaro” is “The Follies of the Day.” It is a bit of a long day and I did find my attention flagging during the third act as various singers got extended, well deserved and well executed opportunities. But, I was waiting eagerly for the final dust-up in the garden.
Saturday night’s audience was especially appreciative of the singing of Elizabeth Baldwin as Countess, spurned by the Count, Wayne Hu.. Nearly as much applause went to the engaging Thomas Florio as the Count’s valet Figaro and the winsome Valerie Vinzant as his fiancée, the Countess’s maid Susanna.
The IU Opera Theater’s production of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” continues with performances on Friday and Saturday February 29th and March 1st.
You can find an interview with IU’s Figaros, Thomas Florio and Aubrey Allicock on our Arts Interviews page .