Accompanied by a piano and string quartet, GWO's multilayered adaptation of the 1786 opera is performed in English and completely staged in four acts with Edwardian costuming and scenery based upon the popular PBS program “Downton Abbey.”
The plot of "The Marriage of Figaro" revolves around the sexual relationships between the regency and their servants, and is led by bass-baritone Miles Rand as servant Figaro and soprano Elaine Crane as his fiancé, fellow servant Susanna. The story unfolds as the glorious sounding baritone Ron Williams, as the Count Almaviva, manipulates an old law to try to have his way with Susanna, and both Susanna and Almaviva’s wife, the Countess, played to perfection by glorious soprano Christine Petkus, work their own methods of manipulation to prove what a lout the Count is.
Rind gave a steady performance and was adept as Figaro... Crane and Petkus have some of the best moments on stage, with Petkus especially not only displaying her prowess as a singer but also giving one of the best acting performances of the evening with her wonderful line interpretation, impeccable comedic timing and engaging facial reactions throughout the show. She proves to be Williams' equal, which is an unenviable task as he absolutely dominates with his uncanny presence on stage.
Other impressive performances include Meghan Ryan, who beams as the adolescent page, Cherubino, seeks to confess his love to the Countess. There are also riotously funny moments thanks to actors Benjamin Morse as the chronic drunk Antonio and Frank Walker as Dr. Bartolo.
Sets and scene changes were adequate to the show, but it was obvious more time was spent on the music, which, granted, was practically flawless. Highest praise goes to music director and conductor Aldo Fabrizi and the musicians in the pit as the orchestra played the lengthy Mozart score to perfection.
(Kevin Baldwin, Worcester Telegram, 6/25/16)
"Such home-grown magical music-making deserves celebration, support and, most of all, profound gratitude." (John Zeugner, Worcester Telegram, 6/17/07)
"Great cities are blessed with great cultural institutions. Worcester Opera Works can now be added to that group." "...as tight and beautifully sung a presentation (as) could have been found at the Met." (Dan Sweeney, Worcester Telegram, 1/14/09) "Professional aplomb, spot-on singing... voices were first-rate, bell clear and energetic... wonderfully costumed" (John Zeugner, Worcester Telegram, 3/15/10)
"The outstanding feature of this production was the singing. The scales, trills, and arpeggios... were handily executed...musically polished, with fine intonation.... a boisterous, fun-filled affair, with splendid singing by local talent." (Joyce Tamer, Worcester Telegram, 6/13/10)