Act I: A room in the servants’ quarters, in the morning.
Figaro is making preparations for the new quarters he will share with Susanna once they are married. When Susanna hears of this is she objects that the room is too close to the Count’s. Figaro is outraged when Susanna explains that the Count is planning to exercise his “droit du Seigneur,” an old custom which gives a lord of a manor the right to take a servant to his bed before she becomes a bride. Figaro vows to upset his master’s plans.
Dr. Bartolo and Marcellina arrive. Marcellina confides that Figaro once promised to marry her if he did not repay her loan. She plans to hold him to that promise, and Bartolo agrees to help her. Susanna briefly trades insults with the departing Marcellina. Cherubino, the pageboy, rushes in and begs Susanna to help him. He laments over his love for the Countess, and all women for that matter.
Unexpectedly, the Count enters and Cherubino hides. The Count urges a rendezvous with Susanna, but they hear the approach of Basilio and the Count must hide as well. Basilio gossips about Cherubino’s infatuation with the Countess, prompting the Count to burst out in anger. Basilio quickly denies the rumour and claims that the page dotes on all women. Basilio then inadvertently exposes Cherubino. Annoyed, the Count leaves after ordering Cherubino to join the army in Seville. Figaro tries his best to cheer up Cherubino.
Act II: The Countess’s room, later that morning.
The Countess is told about the Count’s advances and calls on the power of love to bring her husband back to her. Susanna enters and reassures her mistress that the Count must still love her, for he was jealous of Cherubino. Figaro arrives with the news that the Count is plotting with Marcellina to stop the wedding but he, Figaro, has a plan.
Figaro proposes to distract the Count with a note saying the Countess has a lover. If the Count is still eager to have Susanna, then Cherubino will disguise himself as her and rendezvous with the Count. The Countess can then “discover” the Count and shame him into good behaviour. Figaro leaves while Cherubino is outfitted. When Susanna steps out, the Count, who has received Figaro’s note, demands to enter. Cherubino ducks into an adjoining room and locks the door. The Count hears a crash and accuses the Countess of hiding her lover. She claims it is Susanna. The Count insists that the Countess go with him to fetch some tools to break the door down.
When they leave, Cherubino unlocks the door and escapes out the window and Susanna locks herself in the room. When the Count and Countess return, the Count swears to kill the boy, but when the door is opened Susanna walks out instead.
Figaro enters to announce that the wedding festivities are about to begin, but just then Antonio, the gardener, interrupts. Antonio has seen a young man leap out of the window and ruin his flowerbeds. Figaro says that it was he who leapt out of the window. Antonio shows Cherubino’s army commission papers which were found lying on the ground. Amid the confusion, Marcellina enters with Bartolo to press her claims against Figaro. The suspicious Count seizes the opportunity and decides that he will hear Marcellina’s case, effectively stalling the wedding.
Act III: A large hall, a few hours later.
The Count is alone. Susanna and the Countess enter unseen. The Countess tells her maid to make an assignation with the Count for that evening. The Countess plans to go in Susanna’s place but Susanna must not tell anyone, not even Figaro. Susanna makes the arrangement but when Figaro enters the Count hears the maid reassuring Figaro that all will be well. Figaro, Marcellina and Bartolo enter with Don Curzio, a lawyer. The law is plain: Figaro must marry Marcellina. As Figaro is protesting, Marcellina sees a birthmark on his arm, which identifies him as her long-lost son, and Bartolo is the father. They all embrace and decide to have a double wedding!
Barbarina, one of Cherubino’s flirtations, plans to disguise the pageboy as a girl so he will not have to go to Seville. Antonio arrives with the count, complaining that Cherubino has not yet left for Seville and they leave to investigate. Meanwhile, Susanna and the Countess dictate a letter that will ensure the Count’s presence at the rendezvous. As they seal the letter with a pin, Barbarina and the other girls enter. Antonio finds them and unmasks Cherubino. Barbarina defends him cleverly, undermining the Count. Figaro arrives and the wedding march begins. The Countess persuades the Count to sit beside her. When the bridal couples return, Susanna secretly passes the note to the Count. He is delighted to get the message, and invites everyone to celebrate.
Act IV: In the garden, late that night.
Barbarina, while searching for the pin that the Count has dropped, meets Figaro, who learns the significance of the pin. He believes that Susanna is really going to meet the Count and complains about the duplicity of women to Marcellina. They both leave but Marcellina goes to warn Susanna that Figaro knows of the assignation. Susanna and the Countess enter each dressed in the other’s dress. Susanna sings a love song, aware that Figaro is listening.
The Count sees his wife. Believing she is Susanna, he starts to woo her, and they slip away to another part of the garden. The real Susanna comes out of hiding, and Figaro suddenly recognizes his wife. He pretends to make love to “the Countess” and Susanna smacks him. He reveals that he knew her all along. They resume their lovemaking hoping to take revenge on the Count. The Count returns to find Figaro with “the Countess” and denounces her. The real Countess suddenly appears and he discovers that he has been duped. He honestly begs his wife’s forgiveness, which she grants, and all agree to end this foolish day with celebration.
Cast and Company Biographies
Conductor Robert Tweten has been described as leading with “verve and precision,” as well as having “flawless” pacing and “musicality and near-symbiotic accord with singers which always impresses.” Engagements for the 2014-2015 season also include his Madama Butterfly for Utah Opera, Edmonton Opera for Lucia di Lammermoor, and the New Mexico Philharmonic for an all-Mozart program. He has recently led productions with Utah Opera for La traviata, Calgary Opera for The Italian Girl in Algiers, and Edmonton Opera for Madama Butterfly. Upcoming engagements include his return to Utah for Toscaand to Dayton for Madama Butterfly.
Early in his career, Brent Krysa’s production of Sondheim’s Assassins garnered a spot in the Montreal Gazette’s ‘Top Ten Productions’ of the year and A Little Night Music and Company were likewise hailed. Since then he has been engaged across Canada for a variety of works including Le Nozze di Figaro, DieZauberflöte, Candide, Postcard from Morocco, and Hansel and Gretel. He adapted and directed Cinderella and La Serva Padrona for the Canadian Opera Company tour and produced The Barber of Seville for Hamilton Opera. Further credits include McGill University, Dalhousie Opera, The Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), Pacific Opera Victoria, Indiana University, and the Lugo Festival in Italy.
Baritone Steven Condy, who has built his reputation on his portrayals of the great “buffo” roles, is admired not only for his robust and nuanced voice, but also for his natural acting ability. He has performed the title role in Falstaff, Frank in Die Fledermaus, Dr. Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Sivigilia, Sir Joseph Porter in H.M.S. Pinafore, Dulcamara in L’elixir d’amore, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, and Major General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance, among others, at opera houses across North America including Opera San Jose, Sarasota Opera, Portland Opera, Calgary Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, and Arizona Opera, to name a few.
Étienne Dupuis has been receiving international acclaim since his debut at Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2011 as Zurga. He has since performed in Berlin productions of Barbiere, Traviata, Boheme and I Pagliacci. Recent engagements include Bohème with Vancouver Opera, Dead Man Walking with l'Opéra de Montréal, concerts at Festival Montpellier, Figaro in Avignon and Pearl Fishers in Strasbourg and Nantes. Upcoming engagements include Oneguine, Figaro and Rodrigo in Berlin, Zurga with Zurich Opera; Albert, Werther in Barcelona;L'Enfant et les Sortilègesand L’Heure Espagnoleat Glyndebourne; Lescaut in Manon in Marseille, Maria Stuarda with Opéra d'Avignon, Germont inLa Traviata with Opera du Rhin and Beatrice et Benedicte in La Monnaie de Bruxelles.
Winner of five top prizes at the Montreal International Music Competition, Marianne Fiset has been hailed by critics and audiences alike. Future and upcoming plans include Honegger’s l’Aiglon for Orchestre symphonique de Montreal, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni in Wuppertal, Kevin Puts’ Silent Nightfor l’Opéra de Montréal, and Micaela in Carmen for Vancouver Opera. Her recent schedule included Manon at the Paris Opera, Mimi in La Bohème for Calgary Opera, Austria’s Sankt-Margarethen Opernfestspiele, and Verdi’sRequiem for the New Jersey Symphony, also released on CD. Her discography includes Ophélie (French and German songs), Melodiya (Russian songs), Ravel and Debussy from Analekta and the title role in David’sLalla Roukhfor Naxos.
Soprano: Countess Almaviva
Lyne Fortin is one of Canada's leading sopranos, with appearances throughout Canada with the Canadian Opera, l’Opéra de Montréal, Vancouver Opera, Opera Saskatchewan, Calgary Opera, Edmonton, l’Opéra de Québec, and Opera Hamilton. In Europe she has appeared with the Vlaamse Opera and the Scottish Opera. In the United States Ms. Fortin has appeared with the Baltimore Opera, Seattle Opera, Connecticut Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera Pacific, Arizona Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, San Antonio Symphony, Akron Symphony, New Jersey State Opera, and Portland Opera. Ms. Fortin will return to Kentucky Opera as Verdi’s Lady Macbeth.
Tenor:Don Basilio / Don Curzio
Tenor Thomas Glenn has performed at the San Francisco Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Netherlands Opera and The English National Opera, among others. In 2012 he won a GRAMMY Award for his participation in the Metropolitan Opera production of Doctor Atomic on the SONY label. His repertoire includes works by Mozart as well as Italian bel canto roles such as Nemorino in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, Count Almaviva in Rossini's Il barbiere di sivigliaand Tebaldo in Bellini's I capuleti e i montecchi. Recent highlights include Count Almaviva inIl barbiere di Siviglia at the Festival Lyrique de Belle île in France, Beppe in Donizetti’s Rita with New Century Chamber Orchestra, and William Dale in Silent Night with Cincinnati Opera.
Hailed as “a force of nature” (Toronto Star), Mezzo-Soprano Lynne McMurtry has sung with the Boston Symphony, the Charleston Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony, Edmonton Opera and Manitoba Opera, among others, and at many of the major festivals, including Tanglewood, Ravinia, Banff, and Aldeburgh. Conductors with whom she has performed include Seiji Ozawa, Robert Spano, William Eddins, Kevin Mallon, and Ivars Taurins. Recent and upcoming engagements include: The Old Lady in Candide and Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro (Opera Lyra Ottawa), Mistress Quickly in Falstaff (Opera Hamilton and Calgary Opera), Bloody Mary in South Pacific (Pacific Opera Victoria) and Messiah (Okanagan Symphony).
In 2014-15 Krisztina Szabó sings Woman/Schoenberg’s Erwartung(Canadian Opera Company), Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (Chicago’s Music of the Baroque), and Mendelssohn’s Elijah (Vancouver Bach Choir, Kingston Symphony). Career highlights: Handel’s Solomon (Les Violons du Roy); Messiah (Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony); Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Sesto in La clemenza di Tito (Vancouver Opera); Ljubica in Sokolovic’s Svabda/Wedding (Opera Philadelphia); Giulietta in Les contes d’Hoffmann (Edmonton Opera); Adams’ El Niño(Vancouver Bach Choir); Bach’s B Minor Mass (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Music of the Baroque); Musetta in La Bohème, Le Pèlerin in L’Amour de loin, Idamante in Idomeneo, Dorabella in Così fan tutte(Canadian Opera Company); Cherubino (Stadttheater Klagenfurt); and Susanna in The Ghosts of Versailles, Rosalind in The Mines of Sulphur (Wexford Festival Opera).
Bass-Baritone Josef Wagner was born in Austria. He studied singing at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna as well as in master classes led by Paul Esswood, Walter Berry, and Christa Ludwig. After his stage debut with Don Alfonso and Dulcamara, he became a member of the ensemble of the Vienna Volksoper. Guest appearances led him among others to Munich, Geneva, Marseille, Antwerp, Vienna, Tel Aviv, and Japan. He has performed parts such as Figaro, Papageno, Don Giovanni, Leporello, and Escamillo. In 2006 he debuted at the Salzburg Festival. Josef Wagner also is in demand as a concert vocalist (under conductors as Ton Koopman, Dennis Russel Davies, and Nikolaus Harnoncourt). Most recently, he made his debut as Jochanaan at Royal Opera Stockholm and as Troïl in Vaisseau Fantôme at Deutsche Oper Berlin, in summer 2014 he sung Papageno at Festival d’Aix-en Provence.
Bass-Baritone Aaron Dimoff made his Calgary Opera debut last season singing Imperial Commissioner in Puccini’s Madame Butterflyas a member of the Emerging Artist program. He also sang the role of Father in Hansel and Gretel for the Opera in Schools tour and at Opera in the Village, Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia, as well as Des Grieux in The Portrait of Manon. Returning for a second year in the Emerging Artist program, Mr. Dimoff will also perform on the mainstage as Zuniga in Carmen. Concert appearances last season included Sciarrone in Puccini’s Tosca with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as excerpts of Haydn’s Creation and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Festival Chorus Calgary.
Vanessa Oude-Reimerink* Soprano:Barbarina
Born in Ontario, Soprano Vanessa Oude-Reimerink recently completed a Master’s Degree at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University under the direction of Professor Sanford Sylvan. Her roles include Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Susanna and Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Pamina and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring, Clara in The Light in the Piazza, Rapunzel in Into the Woods, and the Canadian premiere ofVolpone by John Musto, Ms. Oude-Reimerink has received training from Centre d’Arts Orford, COSI, Opera NUOVA, Opera on the Avalon, the St. Andrews Opera Workshop, and Western University. She is a recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship and the University of Western Ontario Gold Medal.