The Review of the Bronx Opera Company’s The Marriage of Figaro
reviewed by Inola M. McGuire
The production of the Bronx Opera Company of The Marriage of Figaro was a performance fit for venues in Manhattan in terms of its quality. The sets and costumes were outstanding; and the actors’ performances were exceptional. In retrospect, Lehman College’s Lovinger Theatre is as good as any other location to showcase such a production. The hard work and the dedication of the actors are realized on stage with their singing all Arias in English.
The basic theme of this opera entails aristocracy, Count Almaviva, who thinks he is worthy or entitled to have the first picking of Susanna on her wedding night. Figaro finds out about the Count’s intention and he wants to have his revenge on his master. In the first act, the actors, including Figaro and Susanna maneuver on stage along with other actors to force the Count to abandon his licentious objective by any means necessary. Marcellina with the help of Bartolo tries to convince Figaro that he has to marry her. She presents a contract to him. The hired servants find resourceful ways to defuse
In act two, even the Countess unearths creative ways to restore the love she needs in her marriage from the Count. The countess obtains Susanna’s help in an attempt to repair her loveless marriage. This plan warrants a few schemes within the act by the characters on stage. The actors express their intentions in songs, arias, mostly in English. In the end, Figaro and Susanna’s wedding is In act three, Susanna maintains her deception against the Count’s unsolicited advances. In this act, Figaro finds out that Marcellina and Bartolo are his parents, and Susanna’s fears of losing Figaro is put to rest. Susanna and the Countess compose a letter to continue their trap of deceit to confirm a rendezvous with Susanna and the Count in the garden. The Count is manipulated and he is forced to agree to the demands of the servants of his household. Now, Figaro and Susanna are much closer to their wedding celebration; and Susanna gives the Count a letter that is sealed with a pin.
In act four, the stakes are much higher for all of the characters; Figaro thinks Susanna is unfaithful to him when she is not. His mother, Marcellina tells the men off about the ways in which they treat women. Figaro and the Count both experience their encounter with rage because of their love for their wives when they think they are unfaithful. All of the misunderstandings are settled between the men; and Figaro is no lesser a man than the Count who is a part of the nobility. Susanna is not subjected to the wild yearning of the count because he reunites with the Countess.
The audience was in high spirits of this production, and I know they enjoyed their time in the Lovinger Theatre at Lehman College. It is a quality production.