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Netia Jones’ staging, despite a superb vocal set, is lost in her complicated and redundant interpretation of Mozart and Da Ponte’s opera.
Of the three operas which glorify the artistic and intellectual harmony between Mozart and his librettist Da Ponte, the Marriage of Figaro is undoubtedly the one that is apparently the most theatrical. No mystical strangeness as in Don Giovanni, no mathematical oddity as in Cosi Fan Tutte: the form of the first opus of the famous trilogy, a mischievous rewriting of Beaumarchais’s play, is that of oiled dramaturgy and straight-up marivaudage. In short, the Weddingit’s a gift.
The action takes place on a day of celebration, the one that should celebrate the union of the servants Susanna and Figaro, a pure love that the Count could compromise, he who, after having abandoned his wife and ran all that is petticoats in his domain, has set his sights on the pretty servant. Class struggle, gender war, the poles are numerous in the booklet. Or the Brit Netia Jones barely grabs it for its first staging in Paris, preferring to capture another apparently just as relevant: the more formal one of the mise en abîme.
It’s all in the text
On the open stage of the Palais Garnier, we are literally given behind the scenes: large black sections are displayed in white footage and stage directions, the velvet armchairs are still under plastic, and pass in front of box doors young girls in tutu. We’re behind the scenes at the opera, and the following acts will anchor the action in front of…