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April 01, 1983 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-04-01
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Figaro
Figaro
The Marriage of Figaro
School of Music
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, April 1-2, 2:30
p.m., Sunday, April 3
By Lauris Kaldjian
IGARO, FIGARO, Figaro. No these
are not the words of the Little
Rascals' Alfalfa, nor are they related to
Figaro's marriage. These oft repeated, but
seldom-credited words belong to Rossini's
opera The Barber of Seville. Nevertheless,
this well-known repitition brings to mind
Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, and for
our present purposes it shall suffice.
The Marriage of Figaro is being
presented by the University of Michigan
Opera Theater. With the high level of
professional talent pouring into Ann Aibor,
the University's own School of Music is of-
ten overshadowed by guest artists, but the
worth of countless performances, recitals,
and productions done by students should
not be underestimated.
The Marriage of Figaro was the first of
three comic operas produced by the
collaborative efforts of Mozart and libret-
tist Lorenzo da Ponte. Mozart's comic
operas far surpassed the mere farce of his
day; with all of its personal interplay, The
Marriage of Figaro is a drama of social
politics. Under the composer's baton the
opera was first performed in Vienna in
1786.
Characteristic of the comic opera, The
Marriage of Figaro abounds with
unrequitted love, mistaken identities,
suspicious rendezvous, multi-marriages,
and subplots galore. The setting is the
estate of Count Almaviva. His valet Figaro
is betrothed to Countess Almaviva's per-
sonal maid, Susanna. Figaro is aware of
the Count's desire to seduce Susanna and
is determined to thwart his efforts with
conniving wit; ultimately the befuddled
Count is thoroughly embarrassed and begs
a general pardon. Meanwhile the Countess
implores Cupid to restore her husband's
love.
In other matters of love, the page
Cherubino (played by a female, who in one
scene is disguised as a female...tricky)
falls alternately in love with the Countess,
Susanna, Barbarina, and any other dam-
sel in sight. Needless to say, his role is
strewn with comic possibilities.

to tie their nuptial knot, Marcellina (who
previously lent Figaro money against a
promise of marriage) has appeared, with
her advocate Doctor Bartolo, to receive
her due. The Count, with an available
Susanna in amorous mind, deems the case
worthy of legal arbitration which even-
tually brings on the exasperating stutter of
the notary, Don Curzio.
Just as matters look desperate for
Figaro a birthmark on his arm reveals
him to be the son of Marcellina and Bar-
tolo; Bartolo offers to make Marcellina an
honest woman and the result is a double
marriage celebration. After more
suspicions of cuckolding, the opera finally
comes to its happy ending.
The production (to be sung in English) is
directed by Johan van der Merwe of the
University conducting faculty and is
staged by Jay Lesenger. The roles in the
opera are double cast by students of the
Opera Theater. The main roles are:
Figaro (Steve Matter, Steve Morscheck),
Susanna (Carla Conners, Anne DeVries),
Doctor Bartolo (Rob Daniels, Frank
Ward), Marcellina (Ilana Maletz),
Cherubino (Susan Beckman, Julia
Pedigo), and Count Almaviva (Alan
Brown, Ted Rulfs).
4E 4
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