Review: The Marriage of Figaro, Cork Opera House

Cathy Desmond enjoyed The Marriage of Figaro, the first of this year's Concert Series at Cork Opera House

Review: The Marriage of Figaro, Cork Opera House

Cathy Desmond enjoyed The Marriage of Figaro, the first of this year's Concert Series at Cork Opera House

[rating]4[/rating]

Cork Opera House opened its third Concert Series with a presentation of one of the most popular works of all time.

Trimmed of sets and costumes with the orchestra released from the pit to add to the on-stage energy, the focus inevitably intensifies on the essential musical elements.

Whether it comes off depends on how effectively the singers can convey enough of the dramatic intent of their characters within the limitations of the format.

While the central theme of class division in this work is muted with every cast member clad in ball gowns and tails, there was enough of a sense of the drama in the convoluted plot to satisfy and plenty of vocal thrills to delight the near-capacity Leeside auditorium on Sunday night.

Among the impressive line-up of a dozen principals, there was a good blend of seasoned pros and emerging artists.

Among the main roles, Rachel Croash did well in her debut as a coquettish Susannah. Ben McAteer impressed as a powerful Figaro with a commanding stage presence.

Swedish countertenor Viktor Priebe stole the show with his thrilling plangent delivery as Cherubino.

His duet with Sinéad Campbell-Wallace as Countess was my highlight of the evening.

English soprano Louise Innes squeezed much comic nuance out of the minor role of Marcellina. Kelley Petcu was a serene Barberina.

The Cork Operatic Society chorus added a vocal pop of colour in three choruses.

The recitative was replaced with a chatty narrative by Conor Hanratty delivered with aplomb by the Lyric FM stalwart Evelyn Grant and a mishap with erratic surtitles didn’t impinge much on the pleasure.

Conducted by John O Brien, the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra played with rhythmic energy and sprightly articulation throughout never overwhelming the voices.

The Cork Opera House Concert Series is keeping a consistent offering of affordable opera on the programme at a house that has a long and proud tradition in the genre.

Coming up later in the season are presentations of Pirates of Penzance and Tosca.

More in this section


Send a special message, and a
festive Irish Examiner eCard, to the people you love this Christmas. 


Send Here


In the Kitchen with

ieFoodLogo   Video Series

Join Darina Allen for Stir It Up Sunday and cook along with her as she makes her mother’s plum pudding recipe. She also makes Mrs Hanrahan’s sauce - a recipe that is so delicious that Darina says people ask for more plum pudding just so they can have more sauce!

Join Darina Allen as she makes her mother's plum pudding with Mrs Hanrahan's sauce.

Watch Here
Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Lifestyle
Newsletter

The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up