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2001, Vienna, Theater an der Wien, Nozze di Figaro

Le Nozze di Figaro


Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Librettist: Lorenzo da Ponte after Beaumarchais
Venue and Dates: Theater an der Wien as part of the Wiener Festwochen
18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 30 June 2001, 6, 8, 9 June 2002
Conductor: Riccardo Muti
Director: Michael Heltau (Giorgio Strehler)
Sets: Diana Kienast
Design: Ezio Frigerio
Costume: Franca Squarciapino
Lighting: Vinicio Cheli
Choreography: Renato Zanella

Il Conte di Almaviva: Simon Keenlyside
La Contessa di Almaviva: Melanie Diener
Cherubino: Angelika Kirchschlager
Figaro: Carlos Alvarez
Susanna: Tatiana Lisnic
Bartolo: Maurizio Muraro
Marcellina: Francesca Pedaci
Basilio:Michael Roider
Don Curzio: Peter Jelosits
Antonio: Boaz Daniel
Barbarina: Ileana Tonca
Choir, Orchestra and Ballet of the Vienna Staatsoper. Ernst Dunshirn (Choirmaster)

Notes: Revival of a 1996 production under Muti in La Scala, Milan. Coproduction with the Vienna Festival and Vienna Staatsoper. For more information (in German) see http://medianotes.com/opera/berichte/wiener_staatsoper/2002/nozze.htm
Was broadcast in Austrian TV and 3SAT.

Photo Gallery


There is a review of the 2002 production (in German) at the following site.


For an English translation by Ursula Turecek, see below.

Cast and Orchestra in highest spirits

After the opening night last year all three Mozart/da Ponte-operas are scheduled in a co-production with the Vienna State Opera for the Viennese Festival at the Theater an der Wien this June. Marvellous evenings are ahead of operatic audiences from Vienna and from abroad, but also evenings with a certain melancholy as this is going to be the farewell from the Mozart/da Ponte-cycle and for the time being also from the Theater an der Wien, at least that’s what it looks like at the moment. The delight of the singers and of the Viennese Philharmonic under the conducting of Ricardo Muti in the performances has not been diminished by this, though.

Le nozze di Figaro – it is hard to imagine a better interpretation of Mozart’s opera. Riccardo Muti’s conducting was peppy and had a revolutionary pull and much attachment to the details.

The production is very well known to the Italian conductor as it comes from his own house, La Scala in Milan under the direction of Giorgio Strehler. Last year it was prepared by Michael Heltau. Here too we find much love for the details, many tiny gestures, the characterisation of the persons musically and scenically subtly elaborated and the costumes magnificent. Some might call it “old-fashioned”, others feel glad that productions like that have not yet disappeared from today’s opera stages.

The ideal couple are Carlos Alavarez as Figaro with his gorgeous and powerful voice, lyric piani, voluble recitatives, excellent facial expression and a stage presence given only to few artists, and Tatiana Lisnic with her clear soprano that she controls easily throughout all registers as his agile bride who know to evade the amorous approaches of the Count with much finesse and esprit.

Simon Keenlyside proved well disposed too as in voice and figure an elegant Count Almaviva who can hardly be dissuaded from his aims and who in the end does not even succeed in getting rid of the amiable Cherubino who is excellently cast with Angelika Kirchschlager.

Only Melanie Diener as Countess Almaviva has certain vocal problems and does not always sing clearly and properly.

On the other hand, Francesca Pedaci as Marcellina and Maurizio Muraro as Bartolo have their great entrances including two otherwise rarely played arias in Act IV. Boaz Daniel as gardener Antonio, Ilona Tonca as his daughter Barbarina, Peter Jelosits as Don Curzio and Michael Roider as Don Basilio fit well into the cast too. At the end there were deserved cheers for all the artists including the Chorus of the State Opera on stage and in the pit.


An excerpt from a review of the 2001 performance from Opernglas 9/2001 (B. Schaller).

Translated by Ursula Turecek.

“…The portrayal of the Count who found in Simon Keenlyside his ideal personification may be classed as particularly felicitous. He looks brilliant, more a British than a mediterranean aristocrat, mannered, vain, huffy, hot-tempered and charming, with an – if this comparison is allowed – autumnally fragrant baritone that sounded a little more throaty this evening than this voice usually does…”


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sue November 14, 2011 at 9:44 am

See the FULL opera on YouTube posted earlier this month. What a treat!


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