Le Nozze di Figaro, directed by Candace Evans and conducted by Thomas W. Douglas, was an entertaining and exciting production to watch. The production was double cast, adding to the uniqueness of each show. This modern twist on the opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was an incredibly charming rendition.
As an audience member, one of the first things to notice — besides the incredible vocals — was the set design. The set design for the production was very memorable; large pink walls that were off center and tilting added to the vibrant and modern twist of the show. Moving set pieces were brought in by the performers for the majority of the time, and were done so in a comedic manner to change sets, but also to advance the plot of the show.
Another notable feature was the costume design. Bright colors and funky wigs emphasized the comedy of the main characters, while black and white showcased the chorus members. The two costumes that stood out in particular were that of the Countess and the Count. The Count wore a blue wig and mustache, gold, brown, green and yellow coat, pants, shoes, shirt and a scarf that appeared somewhat checkered, while the Countess was equally as fabulous in a red wig, yellow and black striped jumpsuit with red flowers, and a multicolored corset and crinoline. The fashion of both characters influenced the way the singers played their characters.
One thought-provoking aspect of the show was the modernization. To the audience, it appeared that the show was attempting to integrate as many current references as possible. For example, the use of computers, a short dance at the end of the show and emojis in the supertitles. While occasionally distracting, touches like the emojis were probably included for the younger members of the audience. With the arts industry constantly evolving, it was fascinating to witness such a specific reference to technology to establish greater connections with younger audience members. The emojis added to the humor for the production as a whole.
The vocal technique and characterizations of each part were done brilliantly. To the audience, it was apparent that each singer had done extensive background work, illustrated through the double cast. Although there were multiple people playing the same character on different nights, each singer had their own take of the character they were playing. As an audience member, it was interesting to watch one performer play a character one way, and another actor on another night play the same character in an entirely different way. The double casting system allows for audiences to see multiple versions of a character and get exposed to ideas that might not have been brought forward before. This was something that made the production very fun to watch.
Overall, Candace Evans, Thomas W. Douglas and the entire cast and crew of Le Nozze di Figaro, did a wonderful job constructing a new, modern, and entertaining opera. It was comical, pleasant to watch and amazing to listen to. Bravo!