Marriage of Figaro

MICHAEL DRAKE Gresham's School Auden Theatre, Holt


> Gresham's School Auden Theatre, Holt

Fifteen years on the North Norfolk Chamber Opera continue with the versatility of their productions with a return to Mozart.

Sung in English the performance is particularly notable for the diction of the whole company and for the fact that Jeffrey Davies' direction ensures that the action always flows and this is so as much as anywhere in the Recitatives which tell most of the story.

The small Arion Chamber orchestra conducted by Geoff Davidson leads the well-loved music in admirable fashion and while the sets, also under Jeffrey Davies' direction, are fairly minimal against a black backdrop they, too, are effective.

The principals all work extremely hard with the most artistic musical moments coming from Susanna (Jayne Burch) and the Countess (Janette Davidson) who has a delightful duet at the end of Act 3, as well as the haughty Marcellina (Karen Harries). While Peter Brayne could to advantage colour his voice more his Count is full of pomposity and he does not tire. Nick Bird as Figaro might also add more vocal warmth to his confident stage craft and in fact there is also much to admire in the acting of the whole cast. Doctor Bartollo (Andy Wagstaff) is a very straight lawyer and the Don Basillio of Marcus Patteson a comic master of the glance while Liz Lorenzo as Cherubino plays her/his part shyly but with simple effectiveness.

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A phrase which perhaps sums up this enterprising production which continues until Saturday, April 2.