Updated: 5 days ago
By Alkis Karmpaliotis, High School Student NYC
Founder of AppreciateOpera.org
On January 8th, 2022, the Metropolitan Opera premiered a revival of Richard Eyre's delightful production of Mozart's classic comedy, Le Nozze di Figaro.
Richard Eyre's production of Le Nozze di Figaro has been performed dozens of times at the Metropolitan Opera since its premiere in the 2014-15 season. It places the action in the 1930s and highlights the tension between the sexes and social classes. It uses the same rotating platform included in the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Rigoletto, which spins as the action shifts from scene to scene.
Le Nozze di Figaro's masterful libretto demands for excellent acting, and Eyre's production was wonderfully directed and rehearsed. For example, the first-act scene in which the immature Cherubino and the malicious Count scramble to hide behind Susanna's bed was wonderfully performed, with every movement displaying the panic and chaos of the scene.
Eyre's production was, as always, delightful, and made for a lovely performance.
In the title role, Ryan McKinny was solid, delivering a robust "Non piu andrai" in Act 1, and a vigorous "Aprite un po' quegli occhi" in Act 4. McKinny had a bit of a shaky start, with his low notes at times being overpowered by the orchestra, but he quickly enlivened his voice, singing dynamically in the frenzied second act finale. McKinny's Figaro was humorous and sly as he masterfully deceived the mischievous Count.
Lucy Crowe was sneaky and roguish as Susanna, the artful maid responsible for much of the opera's deceitful scheming. Her Act 4 aria, "Deh, vieni, non tardar" was sung with a gorgeous warm tone, and her Act 2 aria "Venite, inginocchiatevi" was wonderfully playful. The Act 3 duet "Sull'aria" between Susanna and the Countess was a highlight of the opera.
Wonderful Supporting Cast
As the deceiving and unfaithful Count, Adam Plachetka was commanding and convincing. His voice was gentle and tender in the opera's finale, as he begged for his wife's forgiveness, and his infamous Act 2 aria "Hai gia vinta la causa" was hot-blooded and grudging.
Mozart composed some of his most beautiful music for the Countess, the disgraced wife of the libertine Count. Act 2 opens with one of the most beautiful soprano arias in all of opera, "Porgi amor", followed by a very demanding "Dove sono" in Act 3. Golda Schultz was spectacular from start to finish, particularly in Act 3, when she nailed the very challenging duet "Sull'aria".
Isabel Leonard was the star of the show as the concupiscent Cherubino, singing an impassioned "Non so piu cosa son" and a charming"Voi che sapete", receiving a standing ovation for her performance. A master of the infamous breeches role, Leonard was adorably awkward as the lovable young boy.
Maurizio Muraro was a solid Bartolo, and Elizabeth Bishop was a splendid Marcellina. The Act 3 sextet "Riconosci in questo amplesso" was particularly magnificent. Giuseppe Filianotin, too, was excellent as Don Basilio.
Maestro Daniele Rustioni's orchestra was exciting and explosive, as it was in Rigoletto, which he is also currently conducting at the Metropolitan Opera.
So Should You See It?
Yes, if you're a fan of Mozart's operas, then this Nozze will not disappoint.
The second run of Le Nozze di Figaro begins on April 2nd, starring Christian Van Horn, Aida Garifullina, Gerald Finley, Federica Lombardi, and Sasha Cooke.