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Christian Van Horn was an impressive looking Figaro whose vocal interpretation was a bit hesitant at first. He did, however, sing with complete confidence after 'Se vuol ballare'. Lisa Saffer acquitted herself admirably in what is said to be the longest role in the soprano repertoire. She was a pert, lovable Susanna who phrased artfully with opulent tones.

As the Count, Keith Phares was a bossy and self-important patriarch who sang with a handsome, robust sound. His wife, the Countess, was sung by the sumptuous voiced Marie Plette, a Rosina who had become immeasurably wiser in the few years since her marriage. Catherine Cowdrick was an amusing, rich voiced Marcellina and she sang with crisp articulation. Her lover of long ago, Bartolo, was portrayed as a bumbling curmudgeon by François Loup.

Patricia Risley as Cherubino and Lisa Saffer as Susanna in Arizona Opera's 'The Marriage of Figaro'. Photo © 2006 Tim Fuller
Patricia Risley as Cherubino and Lisa Saffer as Susanna in Arizona Opera's 'The Marriage of Figaro'. Photo © 2006 Tim Fuller

A most outstanding portrayal in this production was that of Basilio, the music master. As played by the smooth sounding Jason Ferrante, he was the manor's social reporter who never missed a juicy tidbit. Maryann Madden was a cute Barbarina with silvery tones while Dan Kurek and Christopher Herrera created interesting characters as Curzio and Antonio. Joel Revzen has assembled a fine orchestra and it responded to his leadership with full blooded, incisive musicianship as well as the ability to play the most difficult passages with seeming ease. Although there are many productions of this opera to be seen around the US this season, one of this quality is indeed a rarity.

Copyright © 3 December 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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ARIZONA OPERA

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