Atlanta, Georgia- Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) has the distinction of being the oldest opera in the permanent repertoire of virtually every stage in the Western world. Even though Mozart’s Don Giovanni is his most popular it is second oldest. (Atlanta Opera’s Don Giovanni runs on April 28, May 1,4,6 www.AtlantaOpera.org).
This review refers to the opening night Friday the 13th performance at the Rialto Theatre.
This opera is an ideal choice for the novice or seasoned opera lover. Hard to believe that at the time it created quite a stir. First it was written in the backdrop of the French revolution and the main characters, the servants, were making fun of their masters. Second, it tells a story, unlike earlier opera works that were simply a round robin of arias to showoff performer’s voices.
As a note to burgeoning opera lovers, there are two school of thought of how to prepare for an opera. Some say that if it is a good opera, you should go see it cold and be surprised by its beauty. Others believe that you should prepare and read about the opera in order to know the major plots and be ready for the good parts and not get lost in the translation.
I’m a student of opera, so I prefer to do the later, don’t worry no exam will be given but if you don’t have time for pre-study there is usually a good synopsis in the program and most opera houses will give a free lecture one hour before the performance.
Most people think opera’s are boring and snooty, but they really can be an awesome experience. The ability to feel the limits of the human voice and be transformed to the ultimate 3D experience, surround sound and no glasses needed.
This performance of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) is conducted by the School of Music at Georgia State University. What makes it fun is that most opera singer’s voices don’t mature until they are in their mid-30s, so this gives us the audience a chance to check out future opera greats. It also gives the students a chance to experience the stage.
In this opera, one to watch is the character of the Countess, Maria Valdes. Her voice was phenomenal and a standout.
This opera also has some of the most recognized tunes and has a live in house orchestra. Seen in the pit were the principle cello Harrison Cook, who came up to say hello and hails from an accomplished musically talented family.
What I liked with this performance is that they took the liberty to update the story. The names are the same and it was sung in Italian, but the setting was a penthouse in Buckhead and the servants were personal assistants. It was also the first opera I had seen that incorporated an Ipad when one scene called for the writing of a love note.
I don’t want to be a plot spoiler, but this opera contains all the great elements of a good story. Suspense, love, and lust with few surprises and vengeances sprinkled along the way. One think I love about opera is that they don’t work at resolving all the issues in the story. As in life, sometimes you get screwed but life moves on.
The main plot it that two servants, Figaro (Ray Orr) and Sussana (Julie Trammel) are set to marry. They are in the mix of the whole drama with family, location, and the complexities of a wedding day. In comes Sussana’s boss, the Count Almaviva (Jorge Trabanco), he is a bit of a player and has an eye for Sussana or anything that is female and moves. His wife, the Countess Almaviva (Maria Valdes) is distress by his philandering ways and a plan is set to teach him a lesson.
There are other subplots, the oversexed Cherubino (Tábita Iwamoto) and the seduction of Figaro by a mature siren, Marcellina (Lauren Wright).
This opera is broken into 4 acts and runs a bit over 3 hours, so make sure you are rested and really for the challenge.
Two more performances for Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) is set for Saturday April 14 at 8 PM and Sunday’s matinee at 3 PM. There is a free pre-opera lecture one hour prior to every performance.
For tickets and show times visit: www.rialtocenter.org or call (404)413-9TIX
One more note, if you can’t make this show, don’t fret, and check out the upcoming Atlanta Opera performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Cobb Energy Centre. This story revolves around the world’s greatest lover, Don Juan. For tickets and information visit: www.AtlantaOpera.org or call (404)881-8885
“A Christmas Carol” at Theatre in the Square Brings the Holiday Cheer!
Nothing makes me feel more like Christmas is just around the corner than seeing a live performance of “A Christmas Carol.” We have been fortunate to see it performed all over the country with highlights in Boston at the North Shore Music Theatre and now a wonderful performance at the resurrected Theatre in the Square!
The intimate theater is the perfect setting for a story this classic. Even if you are sitting in the back, you will still get a great view and feel the story just fine.
From the opening of the story, through the highly appreciated musical numbers, and a wonderful full cast finale, this adaptation is simply delightful.
The cast, comprised of some amazing local talent, is as good as they get! Some of the best and stand out performances go to Bruce Speer as Scrooge, Cindy Copeland as Christmas Past, Vance West as Bob Cratchit and how could we leave out Davie DeWitt as Tiny Tim!
After the show we talked to the owner of the Theatre, Raul Thomas and he told us this. ” This adaptation by Director Tony Smithey he has been producing in a variety of forms for 18 years. Originally written to tour in schools the running time was about 55 min. With the addition of music and dancing it now runs about an hour and a half with the intermission.
In the production Tony has done a little fleshing out to Scrooge’s relationships with his Mother, his only friend Jacob Marley and his one and only true love Belle. ”
This is a must on our Holiday Fun list so get your tickets now HERE as it opens tonight!
The New Theatre in the Square Marietta is Back and Better Than Ever!
Three years ago one of my favorite local theaters took their final bow and closed up shop. Ever since I can I remember, I loved going to see performances at the Theatre on the Square in the beautiful Marietta Square. I can remember going to see some great Christmas shows with my parents and one of my favorites, the “1940’s Radio Hour”. Ahhh, the memories. But, it was all over in 2012.
Three years have come and gone and I spent two of those years in Boston and one in Florida, so imagine my delight to come back to Atlanta to find that the Theatre on the Square was revamped and ready to amaze again with great local talent.
We took a few minutes to get to know the lovely Roxanne Johnson of the Theatre and ask her a few questions.
TBB: We are so excited that the beloved Theatre in the Square in Marietta is making it’s glorious comeback. Tell me about this revival, who is involved and what we can expect?
Roxanne: It was more than heart breaking to the community as a whole to see Theatre in the Square close up shop in 2012. Immediately seeing huge potential Raul Thomas; Executive Chef, Film Maker and avid supporter of all the arts, took over the theatre in September of this year. From the community he hand picked a team of top notch creative and business professionals. We all quickly went to bring this sacred space back to it’s former glory.
Wanting to court previous supporters of the theatre we offer through our resident company standards and favorites of the community. There will also be more contemporary entertainment offered as well as concerts and comedy and other events. The former green room has now been transformed into a small film and photography studio.
The studio is available to the community. As well as classes for children and adults. We are already working closely with Marietta Middle School and Kennesaw State University. The ultimate goal is creating a multi-cultural center bringing entertainment and education to the area through art and theatre.
Information regarding what is currently running and what is coming up for us, as well as purchasing tickets can be found on our website HERE.
After the 1st of the year we will be offering season tickets, flex tickets and reserved seating.
Pure Magic! Cinderella at The Fox Theatre!
Once upon a time, there lived a little girl who dreamed of happiness, played with her animal friends and loved her daddy. She loved to pretend that she was the beautiful princess at a ball, dancing the night away. Yes, once upon a time.
As the years went by, the girl grew older but her dreams never died. She still loves her daddy, her animal friends and of course, dreams of happiness and princess gowns.
Last night, that little girl witnessed the most amazing thing! A true princess transform on stage and she knew that anything was possible! So, she began to dream some more!
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