Performance recorded February 19, 2017
NDSU Performing Arts Box Office: 701.231.7969
Mozart's 1786 masterwork, The Marriage of Figaro, casts a revolutionary eye on privilege and rank. Based on a banned play by French author Beaumarchais, it describes Count Almaviva's efforts to revive the hated "doit du Seigneur," or the right of a nobleman to sleep wtih his servantgirls before they marry. Figaro, formerly the well-respected barber of Seville, is now the Count's valet. He is forced to bring all his wits to bear in thwarting the Count's desire for Figaro's fiancee, Susanna, who is the Countess Almaviva's personal lady in waiting. Librettist Lorenzo da Ponte removed much of the revolutionary rhetoric, and Mozart's own musical interests centered on the human aspects of fidelity, infidelity, and forgiveness. Nonetheless, musicologist Catherine Clement has written that Figaro's lively aria, "If the little Count wants to dance, I will play the guitar," sung through the clenched teeth of rage, prefigures the violence of the French Revolution. Guest stage director Walker Lewis adds a further twist to the plot by updating the action to the Summer of Love, circa 1967.
WALKER LEWIS (Guest Stage Director)
Hailed by the New York Times for his “imaginative staging,” Walker’s recent work includes the Apprentice Scenes at Santa Fe Opera (Enemies: A Love Story, The Pearl Fishers, Poppea, The Italian Girl in Algiers); The Companion (American Opera Projects); Glory Denied (Opera Idaho); The Pirates of Penzance and The Threepenny Opera (Amarillo Opera); The Whole Truth and The Cask of Amontillado (American Modern Ensemble); La clemenza di Tito (dell’arte Opera Ensemble); Tamar da Timna and Il Campanello (Garden State Opera); Monteverdi’s Il Ballo delle Ingrate and The Christmas Oratorio (Musica Nuova); Le nozze di Figaro, The Magic Flute, and Radamisto (Manhattan Opera Studio); and Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Opera America Director-Designer Showcase). Visit his website at walkerlewisdirector.com. Walker is also a co-host of the Indie Opera Podcast at indieopera.com.