Review: Montana Lyric Opera spells out a beautiful “Marriage of Figaro”

From the moment that audience members enter the Montana Theatre for Montana Lyric Opera’s production of “The Marriage of Figaro,” it is clear that this won’t be a traditional production of Mozart’s most famous comedy.

In front of the stage curtain, an enormous, white, lower-case ‘r’ lays precariously toppled above the orchestra pit – the scantest fragment of an unformed idea.

The orchestra begins to play the opera’s overture – itself a series of fragments of musical ideas – and the curtain rises to reveal more letters: an ‘a’ and an ‘e’ tilted sideways, an ‘o,’ and an ‘m’ laid on its back. As the small but well-drilled orchestra dashes toward the overture’s finale under the baton of conductor Luis Millan, a group of people in peasant-like clothing scurry on stage and rearrange the letters – though still into nothing that resembles a word.

Thus the stage is set for a distinctly modern production of one of the most enduringly beloved operas in history, a 225-year-old comedy in which mixed-up words, misinterpretations, and concealment form the very basis of the humor and beauty before aligning themselves into the ultimate meaning of it all. [Read More...]

“Marriage of Figaro” brings local talent to Montana Theatre stage

On Wednesday, Montana Lyric Opera opens its production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro.”

It is an opera with no direct historical connection to Missoula other than a few scattered local performances that took place centuries after the Austrian composer’s death. It is an opera sung in Italian about characters living in and around a palace in Seville, Spain.

And yet if ever there were an old opera for the here and now, it is this one. [Read More...]

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Opera returns to Roxy Saturday

This weekend, the Metropolitan Opera’s “Live in HD” series continues at the Roxy Theatre in Missoula with “Don Carlo,” by Giuseppe Verdi. While not as well-known as Verdi’s big hits (“Aida,” “Rigoletto,” “La Traviata”), “Don Carlo” follows the script pretty well: It’s full of big tunes, epic drama, war and romance. Since this is the Met’s production, you can also expect a lavish production and some of the best singers in the world. There’s nothing remotely “Christmasy” about it, but for some folks, that’s a plus this time of year. Here’s the press release straight from the Met. [Read More...]