Saturday, 27 September 2014

Figaro up close and personal

Opera Up Close - Marriage of Figaro
Opera Up Close returns with a new small scale production, what is promised to be a lively updating of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Directed by Sarah Tipple the new production has just started a run at the King's Head in Islington which goes on into November. The production will be sung in a new English version by Robin Norton-Hale and has been re-orchestrated for piano, viola and clarinet by Alex Beetschen, with designs by Richardo Pardo. 

There is a predominantly young cast, with all the roles being shared so it is a good chance to hear some talented young singers in roles they won't necessarily be singing on bigger stages just yet. Louisa Tee is the Countess, having got good reviews as Violetta in Opera Up Close's production of La Traviata at the Soho Theatre, and she shares the role with Fae Evelyn. The rest of the cast have all featured regularly in Opera Up Close productions - Rosie Bell (Musetta in La Bohème) and Sarah Minns (title role in Young Wife) are Susanna; Richard Immergluck (Figaro in The Barber of Seville) and Alistair Sutherland (Schaunard in La Bohème) are Figaro; Nick Dwyer (Marcello in La Bohème) and Tom Stoddart (Leporello in Don Giovanni) are the Count. Henry Grant Kerswell (Don Alfonso for Grange Park Opera) doubles up as Bartolo and Antonio and Mary-Jane de Havas plays the unusual combination of Marcellina and Basilio, with Felicity Buckland as Cherubino. Director Sarah Tipple is the co-founder of Barbershopera and recently revived Anthony Mingella's production of Madama Butterfly for English National Opera.

So if you like your Mozart joyously irreverent and up close, then head over to the King's Head, Upper Street, Islington, full price tickets are just over £20. The company is also celebrating its 5th anniversary (they started in 2009 with La Boheme) and have promised that some of their most popular productions will be returning to help celebrated

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