Our little concert last night went reasonably well. The Largo. Hmm....It is a tough nut to crack, that one. There are times when it goes great and is so much fun to sing, and then there are times when I can't catch my breath and I feel like a snake is going to crawl out of my larynx and spit venom on my face. Last night was one of those times. I got through it, though, and was able to throw in all my hammy goodness and hit all the high notes, but I'm looking for a little more ease. Is that too much to ask? It is? Damn.
Today it's back to Nozze. I feel better enough to actually want to practice, so I worked on the fourth act aria. It was cut when we did Figaro in Louisiana, so it's been awhile since I performed "Aprite." It is such a dense aria. I forgot how much good stuff is crammed in there. The balancing act will be to bring enough variety and color to it without letting the 'voice acting' upend the singing. I've had that happen before, and then all of the sudden the E flats seem like Gs- not a fun feeling.
It's a great scene. It's the one time where Figaro speaks directly to the audience. I love this moment. Barbarina tells him that she was supposed to return the pin to Susanna. Susanna? For all that has gone wrong this day, the one person that has been on Fig's side was Susanna. And now this? His whole world gets turned upside-down in an instant. I know some people think that Mozart did a disservice to Beaumarchais in this scene by removing the politics out of Figaro's monologue (Act V in the play). He launches into a diatribe about how all the Count had to do to get his rank and position was to choose his parents carefully. Figaro, on the other hand, has had to show more skill and brainpower just to stay alive. It's a scathing speech, and makes perfect sense in the play. I don't miss it in the opera. Maybe at the end of all these Figaros I will change my mind, but I feel like what is interesting about this opera is the relationships between Fig and Susanna, The Countess and Count, and of course the Count and Susanna. Figaro's hatred for the Count at that moment is implicit, as is his wit and skill. He lives it on stage. I don't think he needs to sing about it. Am I wrong? Probably.
Gotta run. I'm rehearsing getting married tonight. No one likes wedding rehearsals. Rikki and I actually had the Act III Marcia played as the processional at our Nozze. Yes, I'm a big nerd.