«The Marriage of Figaro»: to convolute on a known air

Light Opera designed for the tour, “The Marriage of Figaro” Jeunesses musicales Canada proposes to concentrate the famous opera of Mozart around the five main characters and to barter the orchestra for a pianist. A formula that had a brilliant result last year with “The beautiful Helen”, but that is a fancy agreed for this new creation.
The E director Alain Gauthier and the design team had obviously found more inspiring elements in Offenbach’s operetta. The crazy choreographies would certainly not have found their place in Mozart’s opera, but we missed the mimicry and the game adjusted to the quarter-turn that made all the effectiveness of La belle Hélène during the five acts of the Noces de Figaro .

The sweetheart in love, however, is not devoid of fun. A few complicit winks aroused laughter on the first Monday, when the room was packed, but we would have hoped for a little more audacity, assurance and mischief in delivery. Some intentions and details of the plot seemed confused.

The interest of the show lies mainly in the fact that it allows to discover five young lyric artists. Catherine Saint-Arnaud is charming in Susanna and delivers her tunes with a melodious and assured voice. If Marie-Andrée Mathieu succeeds with flexibility to go from the joker to the impolite lover when she embodies Cherubino, it is especially her clear voice that delights. Odéi Bilodeau, in Contessa Almavira, sings very well the score attributed to him, but finds it difficult to get rid of his distressed look, even when she conspires to surprise her unfaithful husband.

One would have sometimes wanted to sing the Open Your Eyes chorus … of the Three Chords, to Scott Brooks, who played Figaro with an eyebrow and had the habit of closing his eyes by delivering certain tunes. He sang, however, just and sometimes came out unpardonable mimicry, especially towards the end of the performance. Stephen Duncan as Count Almavira sometimes lacked a bit of chest and fire in his game, but everything passed in his voice. Vocally, there have been several successful duets.

The decor of Pierre-Luc Boudreau sets the scene in a series of places suggested by white doors, set with gilding and decorated with pink flowers (or green leaves, for the last act that takes place in the garden). Light and practical, but a little redundant, even precarious when interpreters had to slide doors to access invisible cupboards. The lights could also have been softer and better directed. When they moved to the front stage, the singers were unfortunately sometimes in the shadows.

The set is nice, interesting for the lyrical side, but agreed and a little flat for what is left.

Le Nozze di Figaro , seen July 29 as part of the Quebec Opera Festival, will be presented again on Wednesday, July 31 and Friday, August 2 at 8 pm, at the theater La Bordée. He will then go on tour in Quebec and the Maritimes.

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