New Orleans Opera Association, website

Cheers to The Bride and Groom as the Opera Opened Their 2023-24 Season With The Marriage of Figaro

07:00 October 03, 2023
By: Kimmie Tubré

The 2023-24 Opera Season has arrived, and The New Orleans Opera Association (NOOA) started the new year with a brilliant performance of the classic comedy The Marriage of Figaro.

Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, this Opera is a masterpiece that has captivated audiences since 1786 and remains one of the most popular and frequently performed operas in the repertoire.

The plot revolves around a day-long set of events involving a complex romantic entanglement among the servants and masters in Count Almaviva's (Theo Hoffman) household. The Count's servant, Figaro (Anthony Reed), is set to marry Susanna (Cadie J. Bryan), the Countess's maid. However, the Count has nefarious plans to seduce Susanna, creating a web of misunderstandings, disguises and witty schemes. The storyline is a delightful blend of humor, romance and social commentary, highlighting the tensions between different social classes and the battle of wits between the sexes.

Well known for its social commentary, this opera was controversial during its early days and banned in some regions.

Conducted by Elizabeth Askren, Mozart's music in this production of The Marriage of Figaro (performed by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, LPO) was extraordinary. The stage performance was directed by Chas Radar-Shieber, displaying intricate ensembles, beautiful arias and lively orchestrations. With its upbeat tempo and playful melodies, the overture set the stage for the comedic and dramatic events that followed.

Performed this weekend at the Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts, the production was an ensemble of well-developed characters with magnificent voices. Sopranos such as Laquita Mitchell (the Countess) and Cadie J. Bryan (Susanna) demonstrated extraordinary vocal abilities. At the same time, the audience was also dazzled by the vocal skills and comedic abilities of vocalists such as Sun-Ly Pierce (Cherubino), Margaret Gawrysiak (Marcellina) and Tyrone Chambers II (Don Basilio).

What's Next:

If you missed the opening performance of this season, don't worry, there's much more in store.

Coming this November (November 10 & 12) is the modern opera, Blue, which tells the story of the complications of raising a black boy in modern America. The story tells a lifelong journey of a couple's relationship with their son and society before and after tragedy.

Next on the list for this season is a one day performance by New Orleans own, Lisette Oropesa one of the most indemand lyric coloraturas of today. The concert, properly titled, Lisette! will happen on December 1st.

Ending the season is Lucia di Lammermoor, the tale of two rival Scottish families in political opposition. This show will take place in March (March 22 & 24).

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