Figaro’s mayhem and mischief

By Christie Franke, Red Pulse Writer

Imagine having to connive and swindle your way into getting married.

Now throw in a spurned wife, her lustful husband, a horny teenager, a scheming old lady and a vengeful doctor and you’ve got almost every base in “The Marriage of Figaro” covered.

It’s a fairly straightforward story: The valet, Figaro, and the maid, Susanna, want to get married. The Count wants to sleep with Susanna. Susanna, Figaro, and the Countess aren’t having any of it. Marcelina wants to marry Figaro. Bartolo wants to ruin Figaro’s life. Susanna and the Countess aren’t having any of that, either. The Count, of course, is all for it, which is where the shenanigans start.

And the horny teenager? Well, Cherubino’s in love with every woman in the show. Because if the characters already mentioned aren’t making things crazy enough as it is, imagine finding a kid hiding under the table every time you attempt to have a little romantic interlude.

In addition, this all takes place in the span of one day, which adds a little punch to the events and explains the original play’s subtitle of “The Crazy Day.”

Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” premieres this weekend at the Capitol Theatre, home of the Utah Opera. “Figaro” tells the story of love and fidelity, and how love triumphs over lust. It’s been around for 300 years and it’s not going anywhere. It’s a staple of the operatic repertoire, a statement supported by the fact that everyone has at least heard a part of the music.

“When I’ve been upstairs, I’ve heard kids whispering to each other, “I know that!’ when they hear some of the tunes,” said Verona Green, a costumer at the Utah Opera. “And the best is when they say, “Hey, he stole that!’ And I say, “No, he wrote that. Not the same!'”

Suffice it to say that if you have ever watched Saturday morning cartoons (or movies, or movie trailers, or almost anything else), you’ve heard it before.

Mozart’s done what every rock star hopes to do8212;create music so lasting that, centuries later, it’s still being performed regularly.

“It’s one of the best, way ahead of its time in terms of music and libretto, and in how it ends,” Green said.

It’s a gorgeous show, too. The company is presenting it in shades of blue and gray. The costumes and sets adhere to the original setting, which is 18th century.

“Some of the costumes, especially Susanna’s, are very quaint, with an 18th-century flavor,” said one of the stitchers backstage. “The set is all in blues and grays, very cool tones with lots of big murals up. The costumes are very nice.”

It is interesting to note that some of the costumes are tailored directly for the singers, while others come from stock. The sets, too, are tailored to specifically fit the show8212;a fact that is very important, considering the plot calls for several very important pieces of furniture. It’s important to have everything work together to create the best show possible, and the Utah Opera has not limited itself in this respect. It’s going to be a beautiful show.

“The Marriage of Figaro” runs from March 14 to March 22 at Capitol Theatre. Show times for weekday performances are at 7:30 p.m., but the performance on March 22 is at 2 p.m. Tickets start at $13. Call 801-533-NOTE for student discounts, or visit the Capitol Theatre box office.

Don’t let the mayhem miss you.

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