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Posted by on Jul 15, 2014 in Articles, new articles, Reviews | 2 comments

Operagasm Exclusive: Central City Opera’s Le Nozze di Figaro

Operagasm Exclusive: Central City Opera’s Le Nozze di Figaro

 

by Christie Connolley

I don’t think I have ever seen a bad production at Central City Opera.  They always keep things fresh and innovative.  This season’s production of Mozart’s classic Le Nozze di Figaro is no exception.  With a revamped setting there wasn’t a bustle or corseted cleavage in the lot.  Essentially, this is my stream of consciousness as I watched….

ACT I

“Holy Balls, that is an awesome set!  Look at all the rich wood paneling creating the room where Figaro and Susanna will live as man and wife!  And that closet system…. I wonder if it was sponsored by California Closets?”  Looks furiously through the program, but alas, no sponsorship is found.  ”Holy Balls, that is old school carpentry right there.”

“Michael Sumuel may not be great at measuring, as evidenced by his mid air measurements which would have surely put the California Closets sponsorship underwater, but Lord have mercy…. the man can sing!  An opulent, unwavering, resonant tone.  Like I am sitting in a warm cup of Earl Grey tea.”

Figaro 1“Anna Christy.  Anna Christy, y’all!  As per usual, I was right about her fabulosity in my review of last season’s Our Town.  PS – Her reign of fabulosity continues.”

Marcellina and Bartolo’s Entrance

“Maybe this decrepit duo is sponsored by Metamucil.”  Looks furiously through the program, but alas, no sponsorship is found.  ”Why are these characters always made to look like they are moments away from starring in a Viagra commercial… seriously…. are they really that old?”

Cherubino’s Entrance

“Boner alert!  Tamara Gura’s Non So Piu was lusty and hilarious.  This guy would be a nightmare on Tindr.”

Don Basilio’s Entrance

“Joseph Gaines is channeling a deviant Mr. Clean.  He sounds so good, he is naturally hilarious… wait a minute, did he just portamento on Mozart’s tracks?  Oh, hell no!”

Count’s Entrance

“Ohmigosh,”…. grabs armrests on each side of me. “Edward Parks is a MAN, y’all!  Please let that be his real hair.  Please let that be his real hair.  Please let that be his real hair.  Please let that be his real hair.  Please let that be his real hair.”

Chorus Entrance

“Every member of this chorus has a four page worksheet with their character’s backstory, I’m sure of it.”

“Okay, now I am getting it.  This is like Figaro ala Downton Abbey.  The dichotomy of the two worlds… upstairs…. downstairs…. well done.”

ACT II

Porgi Amor

“The Countess is full on channelling Baroness Shrader from the Sound of Music.  (Coincidentally that is CCO’s next production this season opening August 2, 2014.  Check the deets here!)

“Sinead Mulhern’s Porgi Amor is splendid…. the stuff of dreams….  dreams… Get out of my dreams and into my car…  Wait, how can I have Billy Ocean stuck in my head right now?  Seriously?  Well, he would have wanted Ms. Mulhern all up in his ride.”

Voi che sapete

Voi che sapete doesn’t feel very organic… looks like she is thinking about something else … like trying to remember if she left her flat iron on back at the house.  Crap, now that you mention it, did I leave my flat iron on back at my house?”

“So Voi is getting a little steamier.  Oh, he is making a move on the Countess, he is embracing her, her head is falling back as if she is lost in the passion of it all!  Boy, I hope Chris Hansen doesn’t walk in with a camera crew right now with the transcripts of their chat on Tindr.”

Countess, Susanna, Cherubino 

“Seriously, the orchestra must not have had dinner yet.  Why are there so many tempo issues?  They want to play so much faster than the singers want to sing.  Somebody get some Greek yogurt down there stat.”

“Cherubino’s strut down the runway as a man dressed as a lady looks straight outta the first round of auditions for America’s Next Top Model, all that is missing is a stick of Juicy Fruit.”

The Count Enters

“Get out of my dreams and into my car!  Damnit!  Stop that!”

Marcellina, Bartolo and Don Basilio Enters

“Between Bartolo’s cane, Don Basilio’s monocle, and the Counts’ mustache they make up one Mr. Peanut.”

Intermission

Looks furiously through the program, only to learn that is not Edward Park’s real hair.  Weeps silently….

ACT III

“Now that I know that isn’t his real hair, I can be more objective.  Wait, look at him in that suit!  Was that made in Italy?  Maybe he and I should go to Italy during our honeymoon?”

“Seriously, he sounds delicious, expansive, vibrant…”

Hai già vinta la causa is so vengeful!  Ooooooo…. he should play the dude in Fifty Shades of Grey when they inevitably make it into an opera!”

“Somehow his aria has turned into the Parade of Stars!  The problem with Young Artists is everyone is up and coming and they never miss a moment to shine. Unfortunately, they are just pulling focus from the Count right now with all these shenanigans….”

Marcellina, Bartolo and Figaro Enter

“And in this episode of Paternity Court we learn that Bartolo……………(wait for it)……………… IS the father!”

FIGAROCountessDove Sono

“This is heartfelt and sublime.”

“Also, her shoes are awesome.”

Sull’Aria

“This is heartfelt and sublime, squared.”

Wedding

“Can we talk about how adorable Anna Christy looks as a bride?  Until you gaze upon her shoes.  Seriously, those are straight up double strapped, ivory colored, abominations.  No bride wants that….”

ACT IV

Barbarina’s Entrance

“Pretty girl sings pretty…..”

Transition to the Garden

“TREES!”  Reminds me of our upcoming Honeymoon trip to Italy…..”

Guys, Figaro is pissed!

In Tutto è disposto … Aprite un po’ quegli occhi the lights come up while Figaro channels the anger of Dolly Parton talking about the two-timing slut Jolene!  He is breaking the fourth wall and starts warning the men in the audience that all these women sitting next to them are just tramps.  [Preparing feminist rant, but it is nearly midnight, so I'll just shrug this one off...]”

“I understand Figaro’s anger, his pants are pulled up so high that even Bill Parcells would be alarmed.  Give this man’s junk a break.”

Deh vieni, non tardar

“Seriously, Anna Christy…. what can’t you do?  Your face is barely moving, no sign of strain, the sound just emits from you like creamy goodness. Even those low notes that most sopranos just drop are fully resonant and gorgeous.”

The Old Switcheroo

“The Countess is back dressed in Susanna’s wedding ensemble.  Geez, the same shoes too.  They must have gotten a BOGO at Payless Shoes….”

Finale

“In what was the most authentic and heartfelt expression of reconciliation I have ever seen while the Count begged for the Countess’ forgiveness I felt my small heart grow three sizes this day.”

“The opera concludes with one of the most beautiful finale compositions of all time.”

“They all live happily ever after!   Especially me, Edward Parks…. and his wig.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Wonderful production! I attended two separate performances, and I have to say that I unfortunately disagree with your comment about the tempo issues from the orchestra. I noticed that in a couple of arias, the orchestra would begin in a tempo, and the singers would join in at a slower tempo. I’ve performed in a pit before, and I doubt that they can hear the stage very well. Maybe they could adjust better to what the singers want to do, but in mid-aria, once the train is already moving from the musicians in the pit, it’s pretty difficult. Tempo issues are a two-way street, and it’s not any particular group’s fault, singers or orchestra.

  2. I loved all the singers, although I don’t know that much about music or opera. I was proud that I recognized Anna Christy as the same singer as the delightful Olympia from ten years ago! I loved Michael Sumuel’s voice. AS for Edward Parks, I agree about that suit! I thought he looked pretty dorky in the hunting outfit, but once he put on the suit….I actually like his hairless look, though.

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