Reviews of The Consul and Marriage of Figaro in The Coast

The Consul

I’m by no stretch of the imagination an expert on opera. My only experience with live opera has been seeing Die Fledermaus a very long time ago. Even so, I jumped at the chance to see The Consul, a full- length opera by Gian-Carlo Menotti that was first performed in 1950. It is being staged by the members of the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop—young people from all over North America who auditioned for spots in the four-week intensive program. I don’t think you need to be an expert to know these guys are good. The opera itself, the story of a woman fighting bureaucracy to flee an unnamed totalitarian state, is dark and melodramatic, but the performers are amazing. The depressing theme and difficult music may not kindle a love of opera in neophytes like me, but any theatre-lover will appreciate the talent and professionalism in this production. —Kate Watson July 28, 31 and August 2

Read the review on The Coast’s site

The Marriage of Figaro

For those of you who think that opera means listening to wailing women wearing horns, here’s a hot tip for you: The Halifax Summer Opera Workshop production of The Marriage of Figaro is funny, sexy and downright fun. It is a twisted and twisty tale complete with cross- cross-dressing, womanizing and infidelity and it matters not a whit that the whole thing is in Italian. The translation is projected on a screen, but is almost unnecessary as these actors speak with their actions, and the whole illogical story is the least important part of the experience. The stage presence of these young performer is riveting, especially that of Vania Chan as Susanna, who looks like a minx and sings like an angel. If you think you don’t like opera, this production of The Marriage of Figaro is very likely to change your mind. —Kate Watson

Read the review on The Coast’s site

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