I have a little preview of Rossini's Figaro tonight. We are giving a gala concert to open the season here at Green Mountain Opera, and I'm singing the Largo as well as "Dunque io son." I was mildly terrified to have to sing these with phlegmy cords, but I figure if I can do it feeling crummy, then I can do it anytime. Bring on the ham and eggs (is there such a thing as negative subtlety? If so, I think it's highly appropriate for Figaro).
Figaro. I have been doing some reading up on the Big Fig and Beaumarchais, hoping to impress my readership of one (I've been informed that it is really a readership of three now! Progress), and I have found that the name Figaro may mean 'son of Caron' (fils- Caron), as in Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais. Now the name simply means barber in french, having taken on the iconic character's profession.
Speaking of being a barber, I love allusions to The Barber of Seville while doing Nozze. I have often sung the big Act II recit while prettying up the Countess' hair, but in this production I get to give Cherubino a shave during "Non più andrai," which is not only a lot of fun, but helps fill out what can be a challenging moment. It's easy to be Johnny one-note during that aria, manhandling Cherubino over and over and indicating the laundry list of things he will encounter in the military. The whole shaving scene adds a new shape and a lot of fun. Plus I get to play Figaro as Sweeney Todd for a brief moment. "Finalmente! Il mio braccio destro è completo ancora!!!!!"
Here is a picture from our photo shoot. I love this costume- Robina D'Arcy Fox did a beautiful job on all of our clothes. And they feel like clothes, not a costume. I'm sorry to gush about it, but it is pretty amazing.
I'm going to close with one of my new favorite quotes as I've been re-reading
the play of The Marriage of Figaro.
Figaro: You have no idea how much I love you.
Suzanne: When are you going to stop bothering me by going on about it from morning to night?
Figaro: [winking] When I can prove it to you from night until morning.