Marriage of Figaro

By Helen M - Year 13 

On Wednesday 3 May, I was one of seven pupils who went to a screening of ‘The Marriage of Figaro,’ from the Royal Opera House's 2022/2023 season. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but came out of it having loved every second. For those unfamiliar with ‘Figaro,’ the most basic outline of the plot — which gets very complicated, very quickly — is that Figaro and Susanna are getting married, and the Count, their philandering employer, isn’t happy about it. Cue hijinks. 

The most well-known part of ‘Figaro’ is Mozart’s score. From the overture that seems to be brimming with anticipation for the story to come, to the complex final numbers of each act, to the pathos in every number, like Figaro and Susanna’s duet in Act 4 when they decide to make amends (and bully the Count); Mozart draws out the humanity of the characters through his music. 

Complimenting this was a fantastic cast. Germán Alcántara as the Count was my personal favourite, sauntering like a smug cat and transitioning from hilarity to pathos seamlessly. A highlight of his performance was in Act 3’s sextet, where he screamed ‘SUA MADRE!’ with such exasperation and fury that I doubled over laughing. I also loved Gianluca Buratto as Bartolo (who matched his patter singing with a penguin-like waddle in one of my favourite character choices ever) and Hanna Hipp as Cherubino, whose physical comedy brought out the farcical elements of the opera perfectly.

Overall, the trip was fantastic, and I’d like to thank Mr Warns, Mrs Penrose, Mr Thear and Miss Abu-Jabir for taking us. I have been listening to recordings of ‘Figaro’ for the past few days now, and I’m hoping to bag a ticket for its return to the Royal Opera House this July so I can enjoy it all over again.