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Figaro Forever - Welsh National Opera 2016 Spring Season

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by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
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See Barber Of Seville, His Marriage & Divorce In New Season
In the world of opera, Figaro is one of the most beguiling and attractive personalities created whose popularity has stood the test of time with audiences for more than two centuries.

Now the Welsh National Opera (WNO) celebrates this charming yet wily character in a trilogy of operas at Birmingham Hippodrome for its Spring 2016 Season - Figaro Forever.

Welsh National Opera Spring 2016 season Figaro Forever barber of seville, figaro gets a divorce
The Barber Of Seville is among the Figaro Forever trilogy by the Welsh National Opera


The season of operas, all sung in English, features new productions of operas featuring Figaro - Rossini's The Barber of Seville and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.

These will be performed along with the World Premiere of Figaro Gets a Divorce by Russian born British composer Elena Langer with a libretto by WNO's Artistic Director David Pountney.

Figaro's lust for life, desire for matchmaking and mischief will be seen first of all in The Barber of Seville, directed by Sam Brown.

This Rossini operatic comedy features an array of much-loved characters and music inspired by the comedy by Beaumarchais. It's a whirlwind, fun romantic adventure whirlwind of crazy disguises, twists and turns.

Australian born baritone Nicholas Lester also makes his WNO debut and takes on the role of the scheming Figaro. Andrew Shore reprises his recent role with English National Opera as Bartolo, while British soprano Claire Booth will sing the role of Bartolo's young ward Rosina. Tenor Nico Darmanin takes the role of her lover Count Almaviva with Richard Wiegold as Basilio.

Mozart's ever popular The Marriage of Figaro continues with the spirited characters in the story of Count Almaviva's household with a host of intrigues and romances all packed into Figaro's Wedding Day.

Tobias Richter, Director General of Grand Théâtre de Gèneve, directs and Lothar Koenigs conducts his last opera as the Company's Music Director. David Stout sings Figaro and is alongside Anna Devin as Susanna with Mark Stone and Elizabeth Watts as the troubled Count and Countess Almaviva.

Welsh National Opera Spring 2016 season Figaro Forever barber of seville, figaro gets a divorce
The world premiere of Figaro Gets A Divorce brings a conclusion to the story


The new Figaro Gets A Divorce has been created as an affectionate sequel to Mozart's classic. This sees the final chapter of the story for the characters, whose relationships are put under intense strain by political instability in 1930's Europe.

Composer Elena Langer has written compositions in diverse genres including opera and multimedia, orchestral, chamber and choral works and together with WNO's Artistic Director David Pountney has created a lyrical and striking ending to Figaro's story.

Speaking on this new production, WNO artistic director David Pountney said: "I had been intrigued by the idea of how the story might end and what the world of Figaro sounds like in the hands of a contemporary composer.

He added: "As well as the everyday troubles, the rumblings of revolution were getting closer in The Marriage of Figaro, posing the question of how these characters would survive as their world breaks apart."

Welsh National Opera, Spring 2016, Figaro Forever, David Pountney
WNO artistic director David Pountney has helped create the new Figaro Gets A Divorce


David Stout, Mark Stone and Elizabeth Watts continue their roles as Figaro and Count and Countess Almaviva for the opera.

Along with the music, the WNO has promised superb stage designs and costumes for the trilogy with a top team behind the productions.

The design team includes set designer Ralph Koltai - who has designed at least 250 productions of opera, dance, drama and musicals throughout the world - and costume designer Sue Blane - one of the UK's leading film and theatre costume designers who has been at the forefront of the European theatre scene for over forty years and is particularly well known for her original designs for the iconic Rocky Horror Picture Show.


Figaro Forever - Welsh National Opera Spring Season
Birmingham Hippodrome

The Barber of Seville
Tuesday March 1 and Friday March 4

The Marriage of Figaro
Wednesday March 2 and Saturday March 5

Figaro Gets A Divorce
Thursday March 3

Tickets cost from £16.50. For ticket information, visit the WNO website or the Birmingham Hippodrome website.


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Why? See Fun, Fast and Fantastic Opera
When: March 1 - 5, 2016
Phone: 0844 338 5000
Where: Birmingham Hippodrome
Cost: From £16.50
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