Felicity Lott in Offenbach’s ‘La Grande Duchesse de Geroldstein’ at the Chatelet Theatre, Paris; [SBS Saturday 24th December] is brilliant and a ‘must see’ for anyone who likes fun music and a laugh. Perhaps the funniest scene, and one of the most hilarious ballets ever, is at the beginning of Act 3 when four guys dress as women and are partnered by four soldiers and they hurl each other around the stage in a wondrous parody of ballroom dancing and ballet.
Opera Australia’s production of The Marriage of Figaro is deeply flawed by two important things. The set is silly and Rachel Durkin as the countess, wobbled so far to each side of the notes it was unbearable. It sounded as if she was totally off key. She acted the role well, but should be dropped from the company unless she develops a diaphragm and stops that execrable wobble.
Teddy Tahu Rhodes, however, is absolutely the best Figaro I have ever seen. And Taryn Fiebig, as his wife to be, Susanna, is very good.
I dislike ‘trouser roles’ and surely it is time to make Cherubino a light tenor… a soprano young lover is too stupid. There are far too many high pitched sopranos already, although I have to admit Sian Pendry sings very well and is the most convincing ‘boy’ I’ve seen, having, presumably, left her ‘bottom’ at home. The count has no music in his voice, Kanen Breen gets through the role, but it is a production I never want to see again.