Review by Markus Hamence – Thursday 16 November performance
Her Majesty’s Theatre is playing host the most romantic, hilarious and scandalous wedding of the year. Yes, The Marriage of Figaro has finally hot town after a brilliant marketing campaign that hyped up the show over the past few months. But, did it live up to the said ‘hype’? You bet your colourful confetti it did…
The State of South Australia final offering for 2023 is looking like being a smash hit judging by Opening Night’s audience approval. A solid 3 hours of quality opera was lapped up by a keen bunch of us punters; some opera connoisseur, some new to the art form, but all, it appeared, left ‘Her Maj’ very pleased with a great night out.
In short… Figaro’s boss is out to bed the bride-to-be while his heartbroken wife finds herself the object of a forbidden adolescent passion and, to top it all off, a debt needs to be repaid or the couple won’t make it to the altar! – Comedy and disasters follow coupled with OUTSTANDING fricken talented voices.
The cast are brilliant with the accomplished Jeremy Kleeman as Figaro and Jessica Dean as Susanna playing the couple-to-be. Jeremy was last in Adelaide for HMS Pinafore and Pirates of Penzance earlier in the year and Jessica played Josephine in also HMS Pinafore. Their connection and chemistry is undeniable as they bounced of each other playfully during their many scenes together. Their voices are simply are not of this natural earth, and I found myself pondering their endless training and dedication to develop this maddening and heavenly skill they both posses. A joy to watch and listen too.
Equally – Nicholas Lester as Count Almaviva, Petah Cavallaro as The Countess (Giving me Cher in Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again, vibes) and Emily Edmonds as the loveable Cherubino – stunning performances that gave us brilliant characters with wonderful story-telling.
The supportive act are electric and hold their own and each showcase their luminosity, Pelham Andrews, Cherie Boogaart, Mark Oates, Lucy Stoddart, Jeremy Tatchell. Richness in deliveries.
The State Opera Chorus are flawless managed by Chorus Master, Anthony Hunt, ranging from the sopranos, mezzo-sopranos, tenors and basses, just mind-blowing these talents. It is at this point I do realise I will not ever be asked to join their ensemble haha.
There are four acts to the story, with four, well-designed sets – each precise with execution and complimented with well planned stage lighting by Nigel Levings.
The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Tobias Ringborg, cannot be faulted and shone like a diamond from beneath in the pit. The sound was exceptional in the acoustically perfect ‘Maj’.
The creative team needs awards. Director Nicholas Cannon knows his stuff. It is slick, tight and consistent in production. While Set and costume designs by Ailsa Paterson is top-notch and enjoyable to take in visually while not taking away from the actors performances, not always an easy feat.
To wrap up… A magnificent and totally enjoyable night at the opera. Five Stars.
Congratulations to State Opera of South Australia for delivery the goods for the final opera for 2023. Cannot even wait to experience what they have in store for us in 2024.
The Marriage of Figaro runs untilSaturday 25 November 2023
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide, South Australia