Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ will be Bath Opera’s summer tour in June and July 2023.
Directors will be Peter Blackwood (MD) and Will Stevens (Stage Director)
About the production
Our production will be set at Almaviva Studios, a big budget film studio in the 1950s (think Pinewood) run by a powerful and influential producer who insists on being called “The Count”.
The world is rethinking itself in the aftermath of the Second World War, the death of empire and the ever-present threat of the Cold War. Crucially for this opera, the role of women in society is breaking free from traditional restrictions but universal suffrage is a relatively recent phenomenon and British society at large is still, generally, quite conservative with a long way to go in terms of addressing systemic inequality. However, things are changing and the cultural revolutions of the 1960s are just around the corner…
A script writer for the Count’s studio, very smart, sometimes thinks a bit too quickly, wrestles with his own insecurities, helped the Count found his production company but gets no credit for this, helped put the Count in touch with Rosina (The Countess), loves Susannah very much but sometimes takes her for granted.
An aspiring young actress, works as a dresser trying to get her “foot in the door” at the studio, refuses to “play the game” with the Count, the Countess is her hero, probably the smartest character in the opera but hasn’t had the educational opportunities of some of the others.
The CEO of Almaviva Studios, a wealthy white man in a society that very much works for them, used to abusing his power to receive “favours” from actresses that want a part in his films, very arrogant, a WWII veteran, fell in love with the Countess by watching her films.
Considered the greatest film star of her time, the fickle film industry now considers her “past it” because she is slightly older, called La Contessa in the manner of Maria Callas (La Divina) or Joan Sutherland (La Stupenda), fell in love with the Count when he was a young, idealistic film maker.
An errand runner on the film sets, an obsessive fan of every film the Countess has ever made (how he and Susannah became friends), comes from a very religious family so has been brought up to repress his feelings.
A retired receptionist at Almaviva Studios, always wanted to be an actress but didn’t have the looks or talent, very bitter about this as she thought she gave up having a family to become an actress.
Bartolo – a stuffy old lawyer, thinks his legal talents have been wasted in a career dealing with actor’s contracts etc, has made a lot of money but feels his life has missed something.
Antonio – a set dresser specialising in scenes set in gardens and nature in general, irascible and not well-liked, very good at his job but struggles with alcohol, is only allowed to keep his job because of his talent, helped his niece (Susannah) get her job at the studio.
Antonio’s daughter, virtually brought up at Almaviva Studios, rather rebellious thanks to her inattentive and troubled father, rather fancies being an actress but, unlike Susannah, is perfectly willing to “play the game” with the Count.
Performances of Bath Opera’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ will be at 7.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays between 23rd June and 29th July.
Venues and dates are only provisional but the programme so far looks like this –
30 June Strode Theatre, Street – Box Office and Information
1 July Rondo Theatre, Larkhall, Bath – Box Office and Information
7 and 8 July Great Chalfield Manor, nr. Bradford-on-Avon – Box Office and Information email email@example.com
14 and 15 July Wincanton Memorial Hall – Box Office and Information ticket hotline 01963 34196, email firstname.lastname@example.org
21 July Julian Slade Theatre, Prior Park College, Bath – Box Office and Information