THE Welsh National Opera continue their run at Llandudno’s Venue Cymru last night with an excellent performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s famous opera, The Marriage of Figaro. The opera featured bass David Soar as the title role, Figaro and soprano Elizabeth Watts as Susanna, his would-be bride.
The whole performance was extremely believable. Set in 1930s republican Spain, the assembled crowd laughed appreciatively in all the right places, and were on the edges of their seats in others.
It was a performance of a comedy love story that really included the audience effectively; it was very easy to feel for Susanna and Figaro in their quest to avoid the schemes of the frightening Count Almaviva and be together. It was also easy to feel sympathy for the plight of Countess Almaviva (who was convincingly performed by Rebecca Evans), especially in Act 3 during her aria as she struggled with her mixed feelings of love and fear of her husband, the Count. The Count himself was performed by Dario Solari, who had a knack of reminding the audience frequently that he was the character with the power, and that they were watching an opera about the plight of an underling, rather than an equal, and the relationship between him and Figaro was therefore convincingly tense.
The inclusion of Jurgita Adamonyté as Cherubino was a wonderful addition; there was real chemistry between him and Figaro, who teases him playfully at the end of Act 1, and added very well to the comedic aspects of the opera.
The scenery was exquisitely designed, consisting almost of pure white walls, furniture and extremely high doors, which added both to the sense of grandeur and splendour of the setting
and the whiteness also helped to focus the audience attention on the characters. The scenery during the final act, set outside in a garden at night, was made up of several floor-to-ceiling mirrors that were able to slide backwards and forwards, which cleverly helped create a sense of claustrophobia during the more intense scenes, moving closer to the performers, and easing off again during more calm moments by moving backwards. It was very effective.
Overall it was an extremely successful and convincing performance. The singing, music and scenery all combined together excellently to create beautiful and yet slightly modern-looking
The Welsh National Opera performs La Traviata at Venue Cymru on Friday, March 16 and The Marriage of Figaro again on Saturday, March 17 before continuing their tour around the UK.
Welsh National Opera at Venue Cymru, Llandudno
The internationally renowned, highly praised company Welsh National Opera returned to Llandudno’s Venue Cymru this week, putting on a spectacular performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s three-act La Traviata, as part of a 17 date tour across the UK.
The indisposition of Carlos Osuna, who was to play lead character Alfredo in the opera, added an extra pressure on the performers, but ultimately wasn’t an issue, with the role being taken over by Italian-American tenor Leonardo Capalbo, who filled the role marvellously. His on-stage love Violetta was also superbly portrayed by Joyce El-Khoury, who made her company debut with the opera just last month.
The entire show went off without a hitch, from the opening notes of the overture to the dramatic and moving quintet death-scene that ended the performance. The audience was captivated, and by the end some of them were in tears. It was a believable performance too, the audience were drawn in to the all-consuming and desperate nature of Violetta’s and Alfredo’s love for each other, and felt a palpable pang of urgency for the crisis to be resolved, when it seemed like all was lost and they would never have the opportunity to love each other again.
The orchestra was passionately led by conductor Julia Jones, and added a light, fresh sound to the opera. The sound was quick, agile and attractive, and never drowned out the performers, but instead gelled with the voices extremely well, to create a light and airy atmosphere that contrasted very well with the dark and sad themes of the opera.
The set and costumes were sumptuously designed, with a luxurious colour scheme of purples, charcoals, midnight-blues and dark, inky blacks. The entire effect was accentuated by the warm glow of many lit candles. All of this combined gave off a constant effect of twilight, which drew the audience in and made it feel up-close and personal, and again contrasted with the light and airy sound of the music. It was an intense and wonderful performance.
Welsh National Opera round off their stay with Beatrice and Benedict tonight, and of The Marriage of Figaro tomorrow, March 15. Tickets www.venuecymru.co.uk
Read the original article here: http://www.dailypost.co.uk/leisure/theatre-reviews/2012/03/14/la-traviata-55578-30530152/
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