the Marriage of Figaro | Lyric Opera House | Classical | Chicago Reader
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When: Sun., Feb. 28, 2 p.m., Wed., March 3, 2 p.m., Sat., March 6, 7:30 p.m., Tue., March 9, 7:30 p.m., Fri., March 12, 2 p.m., Mon., March 15, 7:30 p.m., Thu., March 18, 2 p.m., Sat., March 20, 7:30 p.m., Mon., March 22, 7:30 p.m., Wed., March 24, 7:30 p.m. and Sat., March 27, 7:30 p.m. 2010
Price: $33-$194
Lyric Opera concludes its season with Mozart’s 1786 masterpiece Le Nozze di Figaro. Its story of love, jealousy, trust, and forgiveness is touching yet hilarious, and in the performance I saw its glorious score was executed by a superb cast and orchestra that brought to life every comic twist and turn of Susanna and Figaro’s wedding day. As the maid Susanna, gifted soprano Daniella de Niese—impressive in 2007’s Giulio Cesare—was effervescently charismatic, and particularly expressive in the final act’s “Deh! Vieni, Non Tardar.” Bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as the valet Figaro was her perfect match, delivering a firmly resounding “Se Vuol Ballare.” Baritone Mariusz Kwiecien was boldly commanding in demeanor and sound as the philandering Count Almaviva; soprano Anne Schwanewilms (sublime in 2006’s Der Rosenkavalier), though regal as the Countess, sounded thin and at times was nearly inaudible. (She’s since withdrawn due to a bronchial infection and will be replaced by Amanda Majeski tonight and Nicole Cabell thereafter.) After a shaky start, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato played Cherubino—the hormonally overcharged youth—with conviction, delivering a beautifully lyrical “Voi Che Sapete.” Figaro was last performed at Lyric in 2003, so I wouldn’t count on this coming back anytime soon. This production runs through 3/27; Sir Andrew Davis conducts 3/12, 3/18, and 3/20, and Leonardo Vordoni conducts 3/15 and 3/22-3/27. —Barbara Yaross



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