The Marriage of Figaro

Philandering nobility and an orphaned servant turning out to be of noble birth are the basis of Mozart's Figaro presented by Opera Box at King's Lynn Corn Exchange.

Philandering nobility and an orphaned servant turning out to be of noble birth are the basis of Mozart's Figaro presented by Opera Box at King's Lynn Corn Exchange.

This acclaimed company was founded 10 years ago by husband-and-wife team Brendan Wheatley and Bridget Gill and now presents more than 70 full operatic performances a year.

Produced by Brendan Wheatley, this is a traditional performance with costumes and settings of Mozart's time – thankfully Brendan Wheatley did not reset it.

Opera is fundamentally singing and we were to hear singing of a very high order from all members of the cast. Bridget Gill as the Countess was suffering from a throat infection but, apart from the occasional cough, this did not detract from her performance

As the young lovers, Susanna (Alison Charlton West) and Figaro (Gwion Thomas) were outstanding both vocally and in the humour they brought to the parts. Whilst Brendan Wheatley as the Count dominated the stage in addition to his rich baritone voice entrancing the ear – as did Fiona Bryant as Cherubino.

Thomas Ellis as Basilio and Andrew Gallacher as Bartolo, and the smaller parts all completed the impressive line-up in this comic story of plot and counter-plot.

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Conductor Peter Ford handled the forces well but occasionally the string tone was somewhat thin and wiry, inevitable perhaps in such a small orchestra. Yet the wind section did overpower the singers at times.

Nevertheless this was a delightful performance to which the audience gave a resounding ovation.

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