St Matthew's Collegiate Auditorium, Pownall Street, Masterton

20/10/2017 - 22/10/2017

Whitireia Performance Centre, 25-27 Vivian Street, Wellington

31/01/2018 - 01/02/2018

Kokomai 2017

Production Details

Musical theatre at it’s best 

From the creative team behind the “witty and delightful” Cosi fan tutte comes the musical comedy The OTHER Marriage of Figaro, the story of the smart alec barber-turned-valet, Figaro, and his sassy fiancee, Susanna. This new English adaptation by Featherston writer/soprano Georgia Jamieson Emms has been specially produced by Wanderlust for the 2017 Kokomai Creative Festival.

With a superb cast featuring past and present singers from New Zealand Opera and a special appearance from the award-winning St. Matthew’s Junior Choir, this Figaro is innovative, economical, a bit cheeky, yet preserves all the best bits of Mozart’s masterpiece.

Praise for Cosi fan tutte: “the perfect starter course for a cultural awakening”, “stunning classical voices” and “cleverly crafted arias that had the audience in fits of laughter.” TARANAKI DAILY NEWS

St Matthew’s Collegiate Auditorium, Pownall Street, Masterton
Fri 20 Oct, 7.30pm and Sun 22 Oct, 2.30pm 
Adult $39
Ages 13+

Whitirea Performance Centre 25 Vivian St, Te Aro
Wednesday 31 January Thursday 1 February 2018

Figaro:  Stuart Coats 
Susanna:  Alicia Cadwgan 
Count Almaviva:  Craig Beardsworth 
Marcellina:  Megan Corby 
Cherubino:  Barbara Paterson 
Countess Almaviva:  Georgia Jamieson Emms 
Flash Mob:  
Mia Aitchison, Lilia Baker, Annie Barnard, Julie Barrow, Zita Barrow, Anna Bebbington, Eleanor Boyce, Milla Rose Byron, Freya Cook, Francesca Domanski, Isabella Falconer, Mair Gibbs, Neve Hopman, Jaylee Laing, Kate Lewis, Stella Masters, Macy Ngatuere, Mahek Patel, Jessica Richards, Charlotte Summerfield, Isabella Ward, Madeleine Wellbrock 
Director:  Jacqueline Coats 
Musical Director:  Bruce Greenfield 
Repetiteur:  Fiona McCabe 
Choir mistress:  Marguerite Tait-Jamieson 
Set design:  Brian King 
Lighting design:  Daniel Wilson 
Stagehand:  John Rogan

Theatre , Opera , Comic Opera ,

2 hrs

Funny, entertaining, at times moving and rather too relevant

Review by Tim Clarke 02nd Nov 2017

Mozart’s 1786 opera The Marriage of Figaro, one of his best loved works, was based on Beaumarchais’ comedy One Mad Day (1778). It is easy to see why Emperor Joseph II wanted it banned. Tales of intelligent and resourceful servants comprehensively outwitting their corrupt masters may not seem revolutionary today, but in the years preceding the French Revolution they were political and social tinder.

Wanderlust Opera’s Georgia Jamieson Emms’ The (Other) Marriage of Figaro offers a new translation which sparkles with wit, ingenuity and up-to-the-minute contemporary references.

Originally produced for the Kokomai Festival, and staged at St Matthew’s Collegiate School, Masterton, this Figaro makes excellent use of both the stage and an adjacent classroom. The performance is confident, energetic and sensitive; the characters effortlessly guided by the beauty of their music

As Figaro, Stuart Coats establishes instant rapport with the audience as he welcoms us to his ‘bedroom’. Superb diction, excellent command of the music and an engaging manner makes his an exciting portrayal. Alicia Cadwgan is a lively Susanna with a beautiful voice, cheerful demeanour and superb comic timing.

Craig Beardsworth (Count Almaviva) balances the public face of impressive majesty with the sleazy private plotting of his droit de seigneur night with Susanna. As Countess Almaviva, the pathos of Georgia Jamieson Emms’ first aria reveales the tragedy of the neglected wife, who then joins happily in plotting against her unfaithful husband.

Marcellina, alternately lover and mother, is presented with stern resolve by Megan Corby. Barbara Paterson brings great comedy to the role of Cherubino, combining enthusiasm, audience rapport and high energy gymnastic prowess – all while singing effortlessly! The St Matthew’s Junior Choir sings beautifully as the ‘Flash Mob’ Chorus. 

There have been capable hands on the tiller of this production. The set is absolutely appropriate and very well used. Costumes, simple but elegant, indicate the relative status of the characters. Jacqueline Coats has guided the action and mood with aplomb, making excellent use of the stage, the aisles, and other spaces in the auditorium. Anchoring all this energetic comedy is Mozart’s sublimely beautiful music played with flare by Musical Director Bruce Greenfield and Repetiteur Fiona McCabe.

This production is The Marriage of Figaro for the 21st century. It is funny, entertaining, and at times moving. Sadly, it is also rather too relevant. Not much has changed since the 1780s. Look closely at today’s powerful men and you could be forgiven for imagining the elegant frock coat of Count Almaviva swirling among them; and so we must be thankful for our modern Figaros and Susannas who call them to account.  


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