Encore Michigan

Opera Grand Rapids offers two performances of ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ May 4 and 5

Preview April 03, 2018 Encore Staff

GRAND RAPIDS—Opera Grand Rapids offers two performances of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro May 4 and 5 at DeVos Performance Hall. Tickets start at $25.00 and are available online at www.operagr.org  or the Opera Grand Rapids Box Office, at (616) 451-2741, at 1320 East Fulton Street. Performances of “The Marriage of Figaro” begin at 7:30 p.m. The doors to DeVos Performance Hall open at 6:30 p.m.

Featuring Mozart at the height of his creative genius, in what many consider to be the greatest opera of all time, The Marriage of Figaro is a tangled tale of farce and folly ending, at last, in love. Below its madcap surface, an age-old wisdom is revealed: wealth and power are no match for ingenuity and authenticity. Musically sophisticated, yet catchy; screwball, yet poignant; this opera sparkles with genius from overture to finale.

Conducted by James Meena and directed by Garnett Bruce, the cast features American bass-baritone Joseph Barron as Figaro, as well as Melinda Whittington, Carsten Wittmoser, Diane Schoff and Eric Jordan.

Set in a day’s time, the story is a comedic tale of underdogs’ victory over the upper class. When the Count and his elitist cronies conspire to thwart the wedding of Figaro and Susannah, Figaro and his friends scheme up a plan of their own.

Stage Director Garnett Bruce, who hails from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University and Opera Omaha, among a host of others, told Toledo’s The Blade that he hopes the stage work will showcase the opera’s theme of forgiveness.

“The set work becomes a metaphor for the unfolding dramatic action and eventual unveiling of the work’s core theme: the ability of humans to choose to forgive,” said Bruce.

When it comes to commenting on the quality of the opera’s composition, Bruce isn’t shy. “There are so many subtle plots and intrigues going on that it forms a dramatic masterwork, all of it perfectly set to music. Our challenge is to bring it all clearly to life.”

Maestro James Meena, Opera Grand Rapids’ artistic director, made his Opera Grand Rapids debut in 2005 with “La Bohème” and his Grand Rapids Symphony debut in 2015. His conducting has been called “awe-inspiring” (Voix des Arts of Mo), “spot on” and “the best I’ve ever heard” (Opera Magazine).


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