WNO Presents The Marriage of Figaro

Sep 22, 2016
The Marriage of Figaro

Washington National Opera (WNO) opens its 2016-2017 season with a new-to-Washington staging of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's masterpiece of romantic comedy-The Marriage of Figaro, September 22-October 2, 2016, in the Kennedy Center Opera House. One of opera's most enduring and beloved classics, The Marriage of Figaro tells an upstairs/downstairs story of love, lust, seduction, infidelity, and ultimately, forgiveness, all set to some of the most sublime and memorable music ever written. The production is staged by director Peter Kazaras (WNO's La boheme, 2014), and the WNO Orchestra is led by acclaimed conductor James Gaffigan in his WNO debut. The Saturday, September 24 performance will be simulcast free to thousands of fans at Nationals Park as part of M&M'S Opera in the Outfield. A special Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Performance is presented in the Opera House on 2 Saturday, October 1, and features the rising stars of WNO's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program in principal roles.

It's the day of the wedding at the palace, and seduction, jealousy, and deception are the uninvited guests. Handsome Figaro, the personal valet to Count Almaviva, is finally getting married to sweet Susanna, the Countess's maid. But the Count has lustful designs on the bride-to-be, so Figaro hatches a plan to outfox his master and expose his wandering ways with a barrage of humiliating tricks. Soon everyone is involved in the farcical antics, from a vengeful doctor and his matronly housekeeper to a bumbling teenage page. Mozart's breathlessly paced comedy-one of the world's all-time favorite operas-features enchanting music marked by glorious arias, tender duets, and the immediately recognizable overture. Clever disguises and absurd mix-ups keep the laughs and surprises coming in this charming exploration of the perils of temptation, the grace of forgiveness, and the triumph of love.

The cast is led by rising star soprano Amanda Majeski in her WNO debut as the Countess, a role she has sung to great acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Another rising star soprano, Lisette Oropesa, sings the first of her two starring roles in the WNO season as the clever Susanna. She returns later this fall as Marie in The Daughter of the Regiment. Baritone Joshua Hopkins, who delighted audiences as Papageno in 2014's The Magic Flute, returns as Count Almaviva. Bassbaritone Ryan McKinny, last seen as Donner and Gunther in WNO's Ring cycle, is the handsome valet Figaro. Two alumni of WNO's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program also return for featured roles: mezzo-soprano Aleksandra Romano is the lovestruck page Cherubino and bass-baritone Valeriano Lanchas is the stentorian Don Bartolo. Rounding out the principal cast are WNO veteran mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Bishop as Marcellina and tenor Keith Jameson in his WNO debut as Don Basilio. The cast also features current Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists in key supporting roles: tenor Rexford Tester is Don Curzio, soprano Ariana Wehr is Barbarina, and bass Timothy J. Bruno is Antonio.

James Gaffigan, chief conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and the principal guest conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, makes his WNO 3 debut leading the WNO Orchestra in interpreting Mozart's effervescent score. The vibrant production, adapted from The Glimmerglass Festival, is directed by Peter Kazaras, whose La boheme was a hit of WNO's 2014-2015 season. The Marriage of Figaro features scenery design by Benoit Dugardyn (WNO's Anna Bolena, 2012), costume design by Myung Hee Cho in her WNO debut, lighting design by Mark McCullough (WNO's Ring cycle, 2016), hair and makeup design by Anne Ford-Coates for Elsen Associates, and choreography by Kevin Williamson in his WNO debut.

WNO continues its partnership with the Washington Nationals with the M&M'S Opera in the Outfield presentation of The Marriage of Figaro on Saturday, September 24, 2016, at Nationals Park. Gates will open at 5 p.m. for "pregame" activities for the entire family, including a meet-and-greet with M&M'S Ms. Brown, a musical instrument "petting zoo," a costume trunk and face painting play area, chances to win prizes from M&M'S and the Kennedy Center, and more. The opera will be broadcast live from the Kennedy Center Opera House to the high-definition NatsHD scoreboard at the ballpark at 7 p.m. Free seating will be available on the outfield grass and in the stands. The event will take place rain or shine-in case of inclement weather, some covered seating is available. More information on this popular event will be announced soon.

At the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Performance on Saturday, October 1, veteran young artist Raquel Gonzalez, who has memorably sung the roles of Mimì and Micaela in past Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Performances, is the Countess. Other returning young artists in the cast are Ariana Wehr as Susanna, Hunter Enoch as Count Almaviva, Daryl Freedman as Marcellina, Timothy J. Bruno as Dr. Bartolo, and Rexford Tester as Don Curzio. New Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists making their WNO debuts in this performance are Andrew Bogard as Figaro and Allegra De Vita as Cherubino; Frederick Ballentine, who was seen last season as T. Morris Chester and John Lewis in WNO's Appomattox, joins the young artist roster this season and sings the role of Don Basilio at this performance.

The Marriage of Figaro opens on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 7 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Opera House and runs for seven performances, including September 24, 26, 28, 30, and October 2. The Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Performance is 4 Saturday, October 1. The opera's running time is approximately three hours and 15 minutes, including one intermission. Visit WNO's website for complete production details and casting information.

Washington National Opera's 2016-2017 season also includes a new production of Donizetti's comedy The Daughter of the Regiment, the American Opera Initiative Festival featuring four world-premiere American operas, a new production of Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally's modern classic Dead Man Walking, the East Coast premiere of Terence Blanchard and Michael Cristofer's "opera in jazz" Champion, an evening of Justice at the Opera with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Puccini's beloved Madame Butterfly in a dazzling production designed by visual artist Jun Kaneko, and other special events. Subscription packages and single tickets are available now.

The Marriage of Figaro Performance and Ticket Information Thursday, September 22 at 7:30 p.m. ? Saturday, September 24 at 7 p.m. Monday, September 26 at 7 p.m. ? Wednesday, September 28 at 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m. ? Saturday, October 1 at 7 p.m.† Sunday, October 2 at 2 p.m. Tickets start at $25 and are available online, in person at the Kennedy Center Box Office, and by calling (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324.