Luckily for us, Victoria is a smallish city that loves opera…three times a year we are able to go to live productions right here in our own town! The final production of the 2013/2014 Pacific Opera Victoria season, was the Marriage of Figaro which we were lucky enough to see at the Sunday matinée.
It was a gorgeously fun production, with a charming cast, sumptuous costumes, and a splendid Versailles-like set. The enthusiastic singers connived, entrapped and forgave each other surrounded by giant mirrors which revolved to conceal, disguise and reflect the crazy antics. It was a little mind-bending to see Cherubino (a trouser role – usually played by a mezzo-soprano) played by a counter-tenor. This meant that watching the plot unfold we would usually see a woman playing a man, who is then disguised as a woman to escape from trouble. But instead we saw a man playing a woman playing a man disguised as a woman…it all made sense when you saw it!
Coming from a family involved in textiles and costumes, we were delighted to see the 18th Century clothing, including stomachered sack-backed dresses for the countess, and embroidered satin for the count. We did spot a patch on the count’s breeches knee however (horrors) and the only jarring flaw in the overall costuming was the 19th century cloak and bonnet worn by Susanna/the countess in disguise, in the last act. We loved the lachrymose song to a lost pin sung by Barbarina – a very nice textile reference…in the 18th Century, those yards of satin brocade would have been largely held together by pins!
To view Constance’s other opera reviews go to this link