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A Modern Re-Telling Of Mozart’s Original Rom-Com – The Marriage Of Figaro Premiere’s Next Month

Today marks World Opera Day and State Opera South Australia encourages first timers to pop their opera cherry with their upcoming world premiere of The Marriage of Figaro at Her Majesty’s Theatre next month.

One of the world’s most popular operas, this modern retelling of Mozart’s slap-stick rom-com for the ages is directed by Adelaide-based Nicholas Cannon, making his mainstage directorial debut.

“World Opera Day shines the spotlight on how artists and companies like ours enrich the livelihood and local fabric of our community, and this performance has it all. Together with our incredible cast and creatives, we’re catapulting the narrative into the modern day with renowned opera classics and a vibrant, fizzing score; complemented by striking sets and lighting”.

Long before Married at First Sight and Bridgerton there was The Marriage of Figaro – a story filled with love, drama and plenty of scandal.

The audience will witness the wedding day of Figaro and Susanna, where forbidden crushes are disclosed, revenge plots carried out and secrets revealed! Throw in a handsy boss, a cheating scandal, drunken gardeners, solicitous lawyers, scorned wives and some cheeky bridesmaids, and the perfect day soon erupts into chaos.

Jeremy Kleeman and Jessica Dean, last seen together in State Opera’s H.M.S. Pinafore as part of the G&S FEST in May, portray the bride and groom on stage.

A treasure of Adelaide’s opera scene, soprano Dean makes her debut as Susanna, having previously performed for State Opera in Voss and the regional tour of original Australian opera Love Burns.

London-based bass-baritone and one of Australia’s brightest up-and-coming opera talents, Kleeman returns home to perform the title role of Figaro. Over the past few years, he has been performing coveted roles throughout Europe, as well as back in Australia with West Australian Opera, Opera Australia and Victorian Opera.

Kleeman said Figaro is the quintessential underdog and it’s impossible for the audience not to root for him. “It is a lot of fun to play a character like Figaro who is full of cheekiness, wittiness, boldness and charisma. He and Susanna are on the lowest rungs of the social ladder yet present the most intelligent and thoughtful figures in the piece,” he said.

Dean agreed. Be prepared to have a laugh and be moved. Figaro is the ultimate rom-com full of truth and incrediblebeauty. It’s the perfect opera for first timers as it really has a bit of everything,” she said.

Bringing their vocal richness to the influential Count and Countess are South Australian born baritone Nicholas Lester, alumno of Elder Conservatorium, and soprano Petah Cavallaro, principal young artist at Opera Australia, alongside mezzo-soprano Emily Edmonds in the trouser role of Cherubino.

The principal cast rounds out with a parade of Adelaide’s own gifted artists: Pelham Andrews as Dr Bartolo, Mark Oates as Basilio, Cherie Boogaart as Marcellina, Jeremy Tatchell as Antonio, with Lucy Stoddart making her mainstage principal debut as Barbarina, and Jiacheng Ding as Curzio.

South Australian talent also shines bright in the creative team: the stunning set and costume designs from Ailsa Paterson, together with lighting designed by Tony Award-winner Nigel Levings set the stage for a truly breathtaking, grand scale production.

In the pit, Swedish conductor Tobias Ringborg helms the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, having previously conducted Madama Butterfly for State Opera in 2019.

“This is the opera you know without knowing it. The overture, commonly known as the unofficial wedding march, is unequivocally one of the most recognisable pieces of classical music, but many arias from this opera have been used for movies such as The Shawshank Redemption, The King’s Speech and the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice,” said Cannon.

The premier production of The Marriage of Figaro is set to hit Adelaide for a five-show season opening on 16 November. For tickets and more information visit

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