Mozart and Da Ponte’s opera is based on the play, La folle journée, ou Le Mariage de Figaro (completed in 1781, performed in 1784) by Pierre Beaumarchais, which was quite a controversial work. Written in 1781, it was banned in France by King Louis XVI, even though his wife Marie-Antoinette loved it. Louis was concerned about the play’s political message: the protagonist Figaro’s speeches suggested the aristocracy was corrupt, prone to abuses of power, and ultimately an illegitimate form of social organization. If that wasn’t enough, the play was also open to charges of immorality and licentiousness due to its sexual content. With all those ingredients in the mix, it is perhaps not surprising that when it was finally given a public performance in France in 1784, it was an enormous success and quickly became the most popular play of the 18th century.
Posted by Nikita Gourski / in Marriage of Figaro / comments (0) / permalink
One of the most ambitious works of art ever created, Wagner’s Ring is a monumental cycle comprising four interconnected operas. Siegfried is the third instalment of the saga, in which the title character undertakes a psychological journey towards self-understanding, attempting to piece together the story of his origins and grasp his place in the world. In the process, he forges the broken magical sword called Nothung, slays the dragon Fafner, and braves a ring of fire to reawaken Brünnhilde with a kiss, pushing the allegorical story of the Ring toward its inexorable conclusion in Götterdämmerung.
Posted by Nikita Gourski / in Siegfried / comments (0) / permalink
Canadian Opera Company patrons will notice two additions to the Four Seasons Centre when they come to the opera this winter. This week, the COC welcomed two new sculptures to the opera house, on loan from the Art Gallery of Ontario: a Henry Moore sculpture, placed at the top of the Grand Staircase, and a Jacques Lipchitz bronze, on display in the Henry N.R. Jackman Lounge. While the AGO has loaned the COC several pieces from its collection over the years for display at the Four Seasons Centre, this particular occasion marks the first time the AGO has loaned the opera company two pieces concurrently.
Posted by Kiersten Hay / in Four Seasons Centre / comments (0) / permalink
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001