Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Le nozze di Figaro

12 October - 17 October
Screenings from the 2012 Festival

This production goes on Tour with a new cast from October

View Australian Cinema listings 12 - 17 October

A new production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro has particular resonance for Glyndebourne. In 1934, it was our first opera to be performed, and it was also the opening production of the newly built opera house in 1994. This production brings together two thrilling artistic talents. Conductor Robin Ticciati will be Glyndebourne’s new Music Director from 2014 and director Michael Grandage will return for the first time since making his opera debut at Glyndebourne with Billy Budd in 2010.

For Mozart, constantly chafing at the restrictions imposed by his aristocratic patrons, the story of servants outwitting their master had immediate appeal. He responded with music that is unrivalled in its beauty and acute levels of characterisation. The Countess’s pain at losing her husband’s love; Susanna’s determination to marry her beloved Figaro despite the Count’s opposition; Cherubino’s hormonal outpourings; Figaro’s quick-witted ducking and diving in his attempts to hang on to Susanna and defeat the scheming machinations of Bartolo and Marcellina – all these elements are woven together with consummate skill.

Rated five stars by the Daily Telegraph.

Rated four stars by The Guardian.

Rated four stars by London Evening Standard.

"A visual and vocal treat" says Gramophone.

Sir George Christie has penned an article for The Guardian in which he looks back at the history of Le nozze di Figaro at Glyndebourne. Read it here.

A new production for the 2012 Festival

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

Supported by The Monument Trust

Filming supported by The Ann and Frederick O’Brien Charitable Trust

Co-Production with Houston Grand Opera and the Metropolitan Opera

Listen to Le nozze di Figaro podcast (20 mins)

A guide to Glyndebourne’s signature opera, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, with music from the live recording of our 1962 production. Presenter Peggy Reynolds explores the historical context of the opera, the politics behind its humour, and Mozart’s sublime music of rage and forgiveness. (Producer: Mair Bosworth)

Download this podcast (right click and select 'Save file as')

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Le nozze di Figaro

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The performance is captured live

This performance can be seen 12 October - 17 October

We want to share our work with as many people as possible. Broadcasts have been part of the Glyndebourne story since the 1930s, and in 2007 we were the first opera house in the UK to screen performances into cinemas.

Please note that intervals for all events are 30 minutes. For the many people now enjoying opera at the cinema, 30 minutes is a more realistic length of time to take a break. This means that we start our cinema transmissions a little after curtain-up at Glyndebourne and catch up for the second half.

Picture House

Act I

While his fiancée Susanna tries on a wedding bonnet, Figaro measures a room which she is dismayed to discover has been offered them by the Count. She points out its dangerous proximity should he seek her out during her husband’s absence; his offer of a dowry is in exchange for his ancient feudal rights. Figaro swears to frustrate him. 

As he leaves, his old enemy Bartolo and Bartolo’s former servant Marcellina enter, the latter with a marriage contract between her and Figaro to which they intend to hold him. Susanna’s entrance gives Marcellina the opportunity for some spiteful muttering. The two square up for a verbal combat. 

The page Cherubino turns up, miserable that he is to be sent away because the Count found him dallying with the gardener’s daughter, Barbarina. Seeing the Count approach, he hides behind a chair. 

The Count presses his proposal upon Susanna. Her gossipy singing teacher Basilio’s arrival forces him to hide behind the chair while Cherubino moves into it and is hidden beneath Susanna’s dress. Basilio’s mention of Cherubino gazing longingly at the Countess draws the Count out of hiding; demonstrating how he discovered Cherubino in Barbarina’s room, he finds him yet again! 

He is interrupted by the arrival of Figaro and a group of peasants praising him for abolishing the droit de seigneur. The Count sends Cherubino off to join his regiment.

Act II

The Countess laments her husband’s neglect. Susanna explains his financial offer. Figaro intends to send a cross-dressed Cherubino to meet the Count instead. Arriving in poor spirits, the page is prepared by Susanna for his meeting with the Count; she leaves to fetch her dress. As the Countess teases Cherubino about his crush on her, the Count’s arrival causes him to hide in the closet. Cherubino knocks something over; the Countess says it is Susanna who, unobserved, returns and hides behind a screen.

The Count demands that Susanna come out. He goes to fetch tools to open the door -- taking the Countess with him. Susanna releases Cherubino who escapes through the window while she enters the closet. Returning with her husband, the Countess confesses that Cherubino is inside. Both are nonplussed when Susanna emerges.

Figaro arrives. The gardener Antonio bursts in complaining about someone jumping from the window; Figaro claims it was him. The Count is relieved to see Bartolo, Marcellina and Basilio enter demanding that Figaro marry Marcellina or repay his debt. All ends in confusion.

Act III

In the hall laid out for festivities, the Count takes the opportunity to renew his proposal to Susanna. She appears to agree, until the Count overhears her telling Figaro that they have won their case. 

Alone, the Countess ponders her unhappy marriage. Meanwhile the court case to decide on Marcellina’s contract has been resolved in her favour. Figaro plays one last card – stolen as a baby from a respectable family, he requires his parents’ consent. In his description of his history and birthmark, Marcellina recognises Figaro as her long-lost son; Bartolo is his father. The family is reunited and Susanna and Marcellina reconciled.

Susanna and the Countess write to the Count inviting him to an assignation; a pin must be returned as acknowledgement. A group of peasant girls arrives offering flowers to the Countess; among them she recognises Cherubino; unfortunately, so does the Count. Slyly spilling the beans on the Count’s relationship with her, Barbarina’s plea for Cherubino to marry her forces him to agree. The wedding celebrations begin. Surreptitiously, Susanna passes the letter to the Count.

Act IV

That night in the garden, Barbarina laments losing the pin she was supposed to return to Susanna. Figaro and Marcellina realise its significance. Figaro prepares to interrupt the meeting.  Marcellina decides to forewarn Susanna. 

Barbarina enters and hides, soon followed by Figaro and his witnesses Bartolo and Basilio.  Disguised in each other’s clothes, Susanna and the Countess enter to ensnare the Count. 

Cherubino turns up, seeking Barbarina, but seeing (as he thinks) Susanna, he takes the opportunity to flirt with her. He is violently replaced by the Count before ‘Susanna’ makes her excuses. All is mayhem as the disguises confuse both the Count and (initially) Figaro, who is apparently caught trying to seduce the Countess.

The Count calls for arms. He refuses to forgive ‘the Countess’ for her infidelity until the real Countess enters and dumbfounds him. Begging forgiveness, he is pardoned.

George Hall

Creative team

Conductor Robin Ticciati
Director
Michael Grandage
Designer
Christopher Oram
Lighting Designer
Paule Constable
Movement Director
Ben Wright

Cast includes

Figaro Vito Priante
Susanna
Lydia Teuscher
Countess
Sally Matthews
Count
Audun Iversen
Bartolo
Andrew Shore
Marcellina
Ann Murray
Cherubino
Isabel Leonard
Don Basilio
Alan Oke
Antonio
Nicholas Folwell
Don Curzio
Colin Judson
Barbarina
Sarah Shafer

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

The Glyndebourne Chorus

Audio files: 

Extracts from Glyndebourne CD label recording of Le nozze di Figaro (1962).

This CD is available from the Glyndebourne Shop.

Figaro (Vito Priante). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher) and Figaro (Vito Priante). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher), Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Countess Almaviva (Sally Matthews), Susanna (Lydia Teuscher). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher), Cherubino (Isabel Leonard). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Don Basilio (Alan Oke), Susanna (Lydia Teuscher). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Don Basilio (Alan Oke), Susanna (Lydia Teuscher) and Count (Audun Iversen). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Don Basilio (Alan Oke), Count (Audun Iversen) and Susanna (Lydia Teuscher). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher), The Count (Audun Iversen), Cherubino (Isabel Leonard). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Countess Almaviva (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher) and Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher), Cherubino (Isabel Leonard) and Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Countess (Sally Matthews) and Susanna (Lydia Teuscher). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher), Cherubino (Isabel Leonard) and Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Countess (Sally Matthews), Cherubino (Isabel Leonard). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher), Count (Audun Iversen) and Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Count (Audun Iversen) and Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna, Figaro, Countess, Antonio and the Count. Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher), Figaro (Vito Priante), Marcellina (Ann Murray) and Bartolo (Andrew Shore). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher) and Count (Audun Iversen). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Count Almaviva (Audun Iversen) and Susanna (Lydia Teuscher) . Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Count Almaviva (Audun Iversen). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
The ensemble cast celebrate the wedding of Figaro (Vito Priante) and Susanna (Lydia Teuscher). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Count (Audun Iversen) and Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Count (Audun Iversen) and Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Count (Audun Iversen) and Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Figaro (Vito Priante) and Susanna (Lydia Teuscher). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Figaro (Vito Priante) and Susanna (Lydia Teuscher). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Countess (Sally Matthews), Count (Audun Iversen) and Figaro (Vito Priante). Photo credit Alastair Muir.

Comments

A wonderful production - amusing, beautiful singing, fabulous orchestra and the stage setting was magnificent. All in all a great evening. Thanks.

We tried hard for these tickets as the only performance we could come to had been sold out for a long time. In the event the patient ringing every day secured literally magnificent returns: it was well worth the effort (and thanks to the encouraging box office staff!).
This is a very lively production with much excellent singing and acting. We particularly enjoyed the beautiful setting and thought the 70s atmosphere suited the themes and characterisation well, ably supported by very appropriate and amusing surtitles.

A beautiful set, and good to see the revolving stage put to such good use. Lovely noise from the pit, and well paced; and what a Marcellina! Having been pleasantly surprised by the 'update' of Boheme, I came with an open mind about this one - but really it doesn't work: this could only be an 18th century story, and it should be left there ('droit de seigneur', and a London Embassy, for a 1960's semi-hippy long-haired boor? - and so on and so on). I would have much preferred no visual distraction during the overture, and if Tom Allen is the benchmark (who ever better?), this Count fell way short of the requisite power and sexual menace. But - the overall performance (Friday 3rd August) on a fine evening was delightful and much enjoyed, and moving, so thank you, Glyndebourne, yet again

We have seen Figaro many times, and thought this was one of the very best we have seen.The production brought out all the comedy, but was also moving at times. The set was gorgeous, and we liked some of the costumes, and even the infamous car! The whole cast was excellent, and worked brilliantly as an ensemble. Sally Matthews was wonderful as the Countess - exquisite to look at, and her singing was so beautiful it brought a lump to the throat. We also enjoyed the hilarious Count - perhaps he did lack a bit of dignity - it was hard to imagine him as Ambassador to London - but he sang very well, and we thought his passionate reconciliation with his wife at the end was just right. Didn't care for the vulgarly updated surtitles, but didn't look at them much, so not too much of a problem! All in all, a life-affirming evening - but then most of the credit must go to Mozart himself!

I went with my daughter. She is just growing out of the 30 for 30 deal and so is having to get used, like me, to standing with restricted view.
We loved the production; wonderful music (of course) and sets and I liked the whole 1970s Marrakesh Express experience.
BUT it was a real shame that an awful lot of the action in the first two acts was set on the left hand side of the stage, so out of sight of those in the cheaper parts of the red side. For some operas this doesn't matter, but there is so much visual slapstick/farce in Figaro that it is a shame to put it out of sight for many people, especially someone like my daughter who has never seen Figaro before.
It would make the whole opera so much better if future directors/set designers could place essential activity on central stage so that everyone can see it.

After 37 years of visiting Glyndebourne I have at last seen a truly excellent Figaro and I am very grateful to all concerned.
Whilst purists might have been disappointed by the cuts in Act IV I think these helped to maintain the pace and dramatic intensity at a point where lesser productions can drag. The lively production brought out the essential humour of the story although I thought the Count was getting close to being a pantomime villain. Musically superb, with Robin Ticciati in charge Glyndebourne can be very hopeful for the future.

We have seen better productions of Figaro at Glyndebourne and one not quite so good - although that one did have the superb Gerald Finley as Figaro and Renee Fleming as the Countess. I thought only the outstanding Isabel Leonard really compared and we had to wait for her Act 1 aria to hear singing of equal quality. My main grouch was the nonsense imposed by the Director with regard to the Overture. Can we not be allowed merely to sit back and enjoy brilliant orchestral music without idiotic "interpretations" and without people dashing in and out of doors left and right. As for the orchestra - definitely not on top form and lacking string power. Perhaps you should give the LPO another chance - they always served Mozart well in the Haitinck/Davis days!
On a quite different level, why do modern day directors feel the need to update? Do they think their audiences are insufficiently aware of society's mores in eighteenth century Spain? And whilst no doubt life in Franco's Spain was pretty horrendous for many, did they still practise "Droite de Seigneur" in the mid twentieth century? I rather doubt it!
The fact is that Directors feel they can have a free hand in mauling the substance of the drama to suit their own preconceptions (or should I say egos?) but the one area they dare not impose their "modern" ideas is in the music itself.
To be consistent perhaps the orchestral music should also have been Jazzed-up a little with a few "riffs" thrown in for the singers (rather than mock-Mozartian classical cadences at the end of arias - which we have recently become accustomed to). But we know that for all their bravery with the structure of the drama, this is one area directors (and opera houses!) would not dare to touch, for the howls of outrage from around the musical world would put them to the shame that they all too often escape when they destroy the concept of Mozart and da Ponte in what is probably the world's greatest opera - certainly it most human and humane.

An excellent Figaro, we all loved it. I was delighted that there was amusing stage action during the long overture, which we all know so well and was so pleased that a lot of effort had clearly been applied to produce excellent staging for all four acts.
Soloists and orchestra were superb, some of the super titles were a bit OTT, but the production was fun, as I think it should be, rather than a serious revelation of man's infidelity
I haven't enjoyed a Glyndebourne evening so much for years .

We have seen Figaro more times than we can remember; we have never seen or heard a more beautiful production! Thank you for an unforgettable evening.

Last night's Figaro - The singing was all excellent and of your usual standard. For a large part of Act 1 it seemed as if the cast had not gelled as a team - something seemed amiss. I am not sure that the principles really got fully into character or adequately projected the emotions of the personalities, with one exception - Sally Matthews who's voice is so utterly delightful. and pulled the heart strings.Cherubino was not nearly mischievous enough! Figaro was not a convincing enough rue in his liaisons.
Whilst the set was beautiful and cleverly lit, the stage (from Circle) looked crowded as the set design left insufficient room for the village celebration scenes, where you could not call the movement choreographed, it was crowded & clumsy.
Just the perfect Glyndebourne picnic experience.

Anonymous

We thoroughly enjoyed the whole performance last Sunday.Taken all in all,it was the best Marriage of Figaro we have ever seen. The singing, acting and set were excellent.

Possibly the best Figaro I have ever seen - and I have seen many. It was witty, handsome to look at, sung and acted as a real ensemble piece by a cast who fully embodied the characters and threw themselves with terrific energy into the fast-moving complexities of the action without ever sacrificing musical subtlety or resorting to farce. So much more effective - and moving - than a line-up of stars competing for applause. Wonderful opera and wonderful theatre.

I could have added to my previous comment that there were one or two lovely surtitles, particularly Cherubino being called a 'horny sod' - again so in keeping with the character of the count.

Well, I am a codger of 75 and have seen only about 8 Figaros. Also I cannot stand producers who know better than the composer. And I have virtually no technical knowledge of music. So I shall enjoy disagreeing with some of your most discriminating critics below. I reckon this was the best Figaro I have seen: the Moorish architecture was fine for the Spanish setting, the count appeared to be an utter boor (and isn't that exactly what he is supposed to be, though I couldn't imagine anyone with such dignity would consent to be his wife), the dancing was entirely in tune with the character of his household, and the garden scene was undoubtedly the best I have seen - greatly helped by the revolve giving us such a smooth transition between the party and the garden - the garden being sufficiently lit and the characters sufficiently distinctive that we always knew who was who (not always the case in other productions). If anyone is put off coming simply because of a little red car, they should join me in taking all opera crits with a full bag of best salt.

Fantastic! I have seen Figaro many times and been lucky enough to have visited Glyndebourne for many years. Whilst of course the music and singing was of the expected standard what was suprising was how funny the whole thing was. I thought the Count in particular was a trimuph as a 60's crooner and indeed felt that all the 'updates' were joyful and in no way detracted or disrespected Mozart's masterpiece. I should add that i cant remember a more jolly atmosphere throughout the whole day. Brilliantly done.

On a wonderful summer evening we enjoyed this magnificent vocal and visual production. One of the very best Figaro we have ever seen

A glorious day-thank you. The singing and sets were wonderful. The pre performance talk added to the enjoyment of the day and gave us a good historical in sight. 5 stars from our group!

Loved the whole evening, musically and dramatically well nigh perfect. So many well thought out touches, such as the three appearances of the flowerpots, the choice of sports car saying more than words ever could about the count's personality, the marriage of sixties dance to the stately music, the setting in the allegedly liberated (but really not all that liberated) sixties, which made the count's double standards believable. It is a period too in which aristocratic (as distinct from rock star) excesses still flourished.
I have seen many productions of this opera and whilst I have been lucky enough to have seen and heard some legendary performers I have never enjoyed a performance more, and would just love to see the production again.

delightful evening. Beautiful Real Scenery for a change!
However - modern dress makes nonsense of the plot.
Susanna could have had a prettier outfit.
Count was scruffy - hardly ambassador material.
Acting excellent. Star of the show was Isabel Leonard - best Cherubino I have seen

We had a very happy day at Glyndebourne yesterday. Glorious weather and a very jolly production of Figaro. But surely a production of Figaro should be more than just a jolly experience given that it is generally regarded as one of the finest operas ever written. No complaints about the singing, the set and the orchestra and we thought the final act was staged with flair and real clarity. However in the end I didn't find myself caring enough about the characters I was watching on the stage. I am not against updating productions but this one seemed to offer no additional insight into the opera, neither did some of the loose translations of the libretto. "My horny friend"....how we laughed.
For a staging to really work the count needs to come over as a figure of some authority, albeit a flawed one, so that you are convinced that he really does have power over those who work for him. This means that the machinations of the Countess, Figaro and Susannah have an element of danger to them as they plot to outwit him. In this production he seemed a one dimensional, not very bright, short tempered oaf who didnt offer much of a challenge to his tormenters. It was difficult to believe that the Countess had ever fallen for him.
I felt for Andrew Shore as he was reduced to slapstick comedy and jiving.
Enjoyable? Yes. A production worthy of the opera and Glyndebourne? Not for me.

In a word - magnificent! One of our party thought it the best Figaro she'd seen - primarily because (in addition to the wonderful singing) it was so well acted.

I was most interested to read some of the previous reviews and, in some cases, I bow to superior knowledge but:
1) we were thrown by some of the translation too;
2) the disco dancing was a tad incongruous, and
3) we couldn't decide whether the dress was '60's, art deco or merely confused - we decided on the latter - the Healey was lovely but completely out of place.

In the end these were minor confusions but in a less good production they might have been serious irritations.

Why oh why is it that directors seem to think that it's necessary to try to improve or up-date Mozart??? Bizarre (at best!).

Still 'an all... a wonderful evening.

Much enjoyed 26 July performance, although I felt it rather lost its way in the fourth act, leaving a final impression of a whole slightly less than sum of (sometimes rather incongruous) parts.

Interested to read in the programme about Glyndebourne’s energy-consciousness too - why all the auditorium outside lights on in full sunlight???

On a perfect summer's eveninga a full blown Opera to enjoy. Real sets and a high class cast giving us much entertainment. Well done all concerned.

Just returned from a magical night. This was the best, most complete and enjoyably fun production of Nozze I've seen in a very long time.
Voices could not be faulted, though there was a slight lack of accuracy in early arias from Figaro, Count Almav. and the Countess (a superb Porgi amore, however). That was a very minor point, however, in what was a crackling, tongue-in-cheek production. Isobel Leonard and Lydia Teuscher stand-outs, but Andrew Shore draws the eye in every scene he's in - an excellent comic performer.
I lived in Spain in the early 70s, and, while this is set in the 60s', it captures the atmosphere of the late Franco-era to perfection.
Disagree that this was not a world-class cast - they were aiming not only to sing perfectly, but to deliver all-round characterisations. For the first time, this deserved the classification ' opera buffo' - a sparkling evening in beautiful, sun-drenched grounds.

There were some wonderful moments, Cherubino’s Non so più, Susanna’s Deh, vieni, Dove sono, the glorious miniature wedding march, Tutto è tranquillo e placido, but too much went for too little, much of Acts I and II, Barbarina’s heartbreaking little cavatina; and there is something seriously awry with a performance in which Almeno io per loro perdono otterrò, the work’s centre of gravity, provokes laughter, and Porgi, amor is greeted in silence. The singing was good throughout. Where were the problems? The sets? Handsome but monumental. This is an intimate piece. Perhaps the sets could be recycled for Aida, but in Mozart they are overwhelming. The direction? Why must overtures now always be accompanied by a distracting dumb show rather than simply being played before a lowered curtain so that we can concentrate on the composer’s setting of the scene? The updating was pointless but mercifully low key - apart from the grotesque dancing: didn’t the director look at the score? Characters weren’t illuminated, the Count and Figaro notable only for their hyperactivity, poor dress sense and bad hair. The comedy was coarse and the real humour, Ecco tua madre, glossed over. The conducting? Ticciati brought great energy to the podium, but at a cost. Everything seemed rushed. Mozart needs to breathe, to be buoyant. This is one of the greatest of all operas, not just a pleasant entertainment.

Mostly excellent our hearts sank with the red and white Austin healey 3000 ( I had a plastic model of one once)but all in all most enjoyable with mainly tip top performances ( was the Countess a bit weaK before the interval?)

I would rate "The Marriage of Figaro" (21st of July) fair, not outstanding. First of all the translation was really disputable and in some cases misleading (as an Italian I I found many "mistakes" and in many cases the quality was unable to convey the real sense- sometimes "double" as it is always the case with da Ponte - of the libretto). Secondly to cancel two "arias" in the second half of the opera was totally unjustified. Susanna and Rosina were OK, Figaro almost OK, the Count fair, Cherubino totally insufficient both from the voice (not crystal clear as that of young page) and the acting point of view (how can he sings his second aria standing rigid as a pole?). The young conductor does his best but result is not thrilling. I confess that the comparison of this Marriage with others staged this year around Europe is not positive. But Glyndebourne is not only opera and the weather was fair so ..... an enjoyable afternoon.

We were lucky enough to catch this wonderful production of Figaro this year, surely Mozart's most perfect opera. Musically superb, with Robin Ticciato bringing such verve and sensitivity to the performance. The singers were excellent, in particular Cherubino and il Conte, and the acting also superb. The sets were beautiful, and meticulous in detail. Slightly puzzling 60's setting, but I think it worked.... sat uneasily with the original 18th century libretto and deeper meaning and polical movement of the day. Anyway, we had a wonderful evening, and even lovely sunshine in the immaculate gardens. Thank you Glyndebourne, once again for such a fabulous time!!

Its was very good. The set was in keeping and a use of costume from a dream like 1960's was a great combo. Singing as always was tip top with Figaro Susanna and especially Il Conte in fine form. The later gets my Oscar prize for wonderful facial expressions which added true comedy to this great comic opera.

So more than worth it .

Thoroughly enjoyed the evening - even the weather was good after many weeks of rain. The whole cast were excellent, the sets and the music were great. What more can one ask for.

Billy Budd was one of the best productions of recent years and the Grammage/Oram team have excelled again. Glyndebourne should invite them again. Apart from that Ticciato was superlative and most of the singers were as good as one would (or could) hope for, but especially Cherubino who was altogether exceptional. And the dinner in Middle Wallop was one of the best. So it ranks amongst the most memorable evenings of the more than fifty years of enjoying Glyndebourne, which has not been without disappointmenst - including this years Vixen.

What a wonderful Figaro - fabulous sets and a fine cast, especially Susanna and the Count. Hugely impressive production, and a great night out.
We also particularly appreciated dinner in Middle Wallop - really nice and efficient service, and good food (as always).
Thank you very much.

The best I have seen at Glyndebourne so far (since 1984!). As good as Haendels "Cesar in Egypt"!

I agree with Steve Farber's first 3 comments. The 60's setting is incompatible with the quite profound social and political comment being made in this opera (as eloquently explained in the pre-performance talk).
This was however consistent with the director's strange decision to ignore this aspect of the opera.

The "banalisation" of the libretto in the English surtitles really grated.

However the beautiful sets will do nicely for a more truthful production.

The cast was mostly superb - particular praise for Isobel Leonard, Sally Mathews, Ann Murray and Lydia Teuscher. And well done the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Couple of points - 1. Not sure why the Count was got up like a 70s TV or pub comedian; 2. the surtitles should translate what is being sung, not what the directing team (or whoever) want the audience to think they mean; 3. Disco-style dancing to Mozart is a very bad idea. 4. The performance (15th July) only seemed to come to life in the middle of Act 3, but then it really did, and stayed on that level for the rest of the evening. So well done everyone - it really is the greatest opera.

I thought the performance of Figaro on sunday was excellent. The sets in general were good although the 60s dimension rather threw me. Its always challenging to give these operas a modern day interpretation & pull it off. Nevertheless, I felt that the performance in general was good & flawlessly executed. Well done.

We went last night (15th July) and LOVED it! Loved the car, loved the set and loved the dancing too. Brilliantly done, thought the direction was great. The singing was fantastic, I understand the comments wondering about the lack of a "star" but I do think this is partly because they were all very good so no one stood out particularly.
Thank you for a lovely day.
Kate

First time we've been to Glyndebourne for 6 years - last saw Die Fledermaus. Had heard great things about this production of Figaro and we were not disappointed. The sets were beautifully designed and implemented - yes - I agree that some of the periods of style where costume and action were concerned seemed a little at variance. The casting was excellent and I cannot agree with comments from others that the singing was not of the best. My wife and I both thought it was of the highest quality. In particular we thought that the Countess' arias were exquisitely sung by Sally Matthews and almost brought tears to my eyes. Amongst all the other brilliant singing we would also pick out Isabel Leonard's Cherubino. The orchestra played exceptionally well under Robin Ticciati and well-deserved its ovation. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

I took friends along yesterday afternoon to their first Figaro and they cannot stop raving about it. We all had a ball. We partook of the pre-performance talk which was so informative and funny and helped so much especially when the action increased in complexity and helped us all to see things within the opera which were not overtly obvious. So thank you Glyndebourne and I look forward to my next visit for the Ravel double-bill.
Love you all Jude

A beautiful production, especially the sets, but marred by weaknesses on the musical side. Only Sally Matthews among the four leads possesses a truly first class voice. The rest were pleasant enough, but one felt was in the hands of journeymen, not masters (again, Matthews' contessa excepted). Also disappointing were the characterless string playing of the OAE and the clangers emanating from the horn section. Finally, Ticciati's v-e-r-y s-l-o-w tempi in Act 2 deprived this most perfect of set pieces of most of its humor, and Figaro himself of his quick witted cleverness. This is a production worth seeing (if only for the choreography at the end of Act 3) but not among the top rank.

We thought tonight's (15th July) performance was terrific. Musically excellent, with no weak links and outstanding Figaro, Countess and Cherubino. The production made sense, didn't get in the way, and worked especially well in the last Act. We thought there could have been a little more fizz or sparkle from the orchestra (conductor?), but all in all a thoroughly enjoyable, first class performance: one of the very best I've ever seen of this wonderful opera.

This is the third time in 25 years that we've seen Figaro at Glyndebourne & it was a real pleasure to go again this year. We both felt that the update worked well (even the Healy sports car) It was an amusing idea to change the Count & Countess into a 'rock-god' & his 'chick'in hippy marrakesh. Robin Ticciati conducted splendidly & Cherubino's was certainly the outstanding performance (which is in no way to diminish those of the other cast-members).Having finally got round to buying the 75th Anniversary photographic history, I was both surprised & delighted to find my mother & I as part of 'The Audience' photographed in the gardens on page 243 - me in my Panama & (now rather greyer) beard & mother to my right. We are already looking forward to the next time. Thankyou & congratulations all round.

A very entertaining and lively production with a brilliant moorish set that revolved to show new scenes quickly. The performances was excellent particularly by the three female leads and in the precise direction given by the conductor Robin Ticciati to both the orchestra and singers. Isabel Leonard, the mezzo who sang Cherubino, was outstanding and is a worthy successor to Federica von Stade. A wonderful evening which shone whilst torrential rain endured but failed to depress as it persisted outside throughout the performance.

I have been coming to Glyndebourne for 50 years and found this production to be better than average, but not wonderful. The weather was terrible, the food (in the Carvery) was better than ever, the Orchestra and Conductor were superb, the main singers were excellent and we liked the sets, but....we hated the costumes, which did not seem to fit the sets or the period, we felt that the 4th Act lost the pace and "zip" of the previous Acts and we also thought that the comic parts were much less effective (or comic) than usual. Nevertheless, we appreciated very much the acting and singing skills of Figaro, Susanna and (especially) Cherubino.

Inevitably some things stronger than others, but overall one of the best Figaros I have seen

An outstanding production; visually, musically and in terms of Direction,it was a splendid evening. I have been visiting Glyndebourne since 1952. with the possible exception of Theodora, this was the the best.

12 July 2012

After seeing marvellous performances of La Boheme and La Cenerentola on 6/7th July, I was really looking forward to Le Nozze di Figaro on July 8th. I came away feeling very flat. The production was certainly far from being the best I have seen of this opera. I agree with most of what Anonymous (of 29th June) says, except that I didn't think anyone in the cast was a star. In a nutshell, awful costumes, mostly rather bland sets and average singing. The positives for me were few, but the revolving stage did at least allow for immediate turn-arounds between Acts 1 and 2 and Acts 3 and 4. I did think the set for the Garden scene was effective and not too dark. The conductor and orchestra were peerless. After reading the rest of the reviews, I can see I am in a minority, so don't be put off going ~ you may enjoy it hugely, as indeed most of the audience seemed to last night. (The chap next to me must have given at least 20 "bravos".)

I didn't mind the 60's style costumes but it just didn't go with the set, particularly in the second half. The food was up to its usual excellent standard though, thank goodness!

I have been very disappointed by your Mozart performances since the Peter Hall productions with the two exceptions of Cosi on the liner and the more recent Cosi with Miah Persson et al (both of which were excellent). So it is a real pleasure to say that I greatly enjoyed this Figaro. In Robin Ticciati you have at last found someone who can conduct Mozart well and who in my view brought out every bit of drama in the orchestral part and paced the score, particularly the finales, extremely well. I loved the production and although I had been worried in advance about the "update", I thought it worked very well. The details of the characterisation (not least Basilio - even better than Tear and Quenod) and the action were beautifully observed and the sets were simply wonderful. Two slight reservations; the cast, although excellent, was slightly lightweight vocally and perhaps as a result the ultimate tingle factor was missing from the Countess' two arias and the final reconciliation. Nevertheless, overall a huge improvement and a highly enjoyable evening with great promise for the future. Many thanks.

A delight from start to finish - superb sets too. The best production of Le Nozze di Figaro we've seen.
Congratulations to all involved.

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