Monday, March 02, 2009
The Marriage of Figaro presented this week by the Sacramento Opera can only be described as dainty.
I counted 21 players in the dainty orchestra. With 2 trumpets, 2 horns, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 flutes, 2 bassoons, a piano and timpani (?) that leaves only 7 string players. Some parts were not doubled at all. Surprisingly, this seemed enough. I was amused by the secco recitative played in an exaggerated arpeggio style on the piano. I am easily amused. And yes, Mozart played the piano.
The excellent set was also quite dainty, seeming to have been designed for a much smaller theater (Opera Hamilton, Ontario.)
I was most pleased by the Count of the not at all dainty Malcolm MacKenzie. He has a big beautiful baritone. All were good singers and enjoyable actors.
Figaro never fails to make its effects. I always like to see Figaro discover his parents again. Our Cherubino fell into constant trouble with extraordinary cheerfulness, and at the end he made an elaborate gesture of kissing the Countess's hand, reminding those of us in the know that the Countess and Cherubino have a child together later in the story.
[See Kinderkuchen History 1780-1803]