An Inspirational Marriage of Figaro by UCSB Opera Theatre (VOICE Magazine review)

Baritone Byron Mayes (Figaro) and soprano Naomi Merer (Susanna). Photo by Matt Perko.
Baritone Byron Mayes (Figaro) and soprano Naomi Merer (Susanna). Photo by Matt Perko.
 
An Inspirational Marriage of Figaro by UCSB Opera Theatre (February 23, 2018)
 
Amadeus Mozart created a comic opera, beloved by aficionados, called Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro). The confection was presented with great comic effect and the cultural edification of exceptional music in a final performance at Lotte Lehmann Hall at UCSB, Feb. 10th.
 
The “buffa” opera has four acts, lyrics by Lorenzo d[a] Ponte, music by W.A. Mozart, and is drawn from a stage comedy written by Pierre Beaumarchais. It was first performed in 1786 and the storyline centers around the challenges of two servants, Figaro and Su[s]anna, who both try to and eventually succeed at getting married. On this journey, they fend off Count Almaviva’s advances and teach him a lesson in fidelity at the same time.
 
Kostis Protopapas, Opera Santa Barbara’s General and Artistic Director, conducted the production, while Isabel Bayrakdarian, UCSB Assistant Professor of Voice, served as Stage Director; Benjamin Brecher, UCSB Professor of Voice was Music Director and Producer. The opera featured graduate students, including Tyler Reece (Count Almaviva), Julie Davies (Countess Almaviva), Naomi Merer (Susanna), Byron Mayes (Figaro), Kelly Newberry (Cherubino), Molly Clementz (Marcellina), Zach Mendez (Don Curzio/Basilio), Carol Tsai (Barbarina), and Cloe Gentile (chorus member), and undergraduates Byron Wu (Antonio), Scott Levin* (Bartolo), and Alexa Lopez, Alexandria Jackson, and Terra Giddens (chorus members). The Set Designer/Builder was Richard Adamson; Ben Crop, provided Lighting; and the Costume Designer was Lis[e] Lange.
 
It was timeless magic.
 
View the original article in VOICE Magazine here (page 23)
 
*CORRECTION: Scott Levin is an Opera Santa Barbara artist, not a UCSB undergraduate student
Baritone Byron Mayes (Figaro) and soprano Naomi Merer (Susanna). Photo by Matt Perko.