BWW Reviews: Hub Opera's THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO Features an Evening of Clever Characters and Beautiful Music
Though The Marrriage of Figaro is well known for the romantic pairings and plot revolving around the main couples, in the Hub Opera production, the character roles actually stole the spotlight from the main couples. Zain Shariff as Bartolo was one of the stand-out performers in the production. He was phenomenal at playing the ridiculously incompetent lawyer while effortlessly managing challenging patter sections of music. He displayed equally impressive instincts at exactly the right moments of when to draw focus and when to give focus to other characters and displayed a naturally impressive yet commanding stage presence.
In his dual role of Basilio/Curzio, Andrew Rosenfeld was perhaps the most enjoyable and perfectly cast element of the entire production. Rosenfeld was fabulously flamboyant as music teacher Basilio and hilarious in his brief role as stuttering judge Don Curzio. In an opera filled with fabulous singers and performers, Rosenfeld immediately diverted all the attention with every perfectly timed comedic entrance. Jeffrey Tarr also deserves special mention for his amusing cameo role as drunken gardener Antonio. His over-the-top style was perfect for the role and he turned a normally forgotten brief role into a memorable and enjoyable character.
The opera employed a very enjoyable ensemble in various roles, comprised of Tamia Branch, Savannah Brown, Julia Dorfman, Ethan Goodmansen, Madeline Harmon, Amanda Harrast, Krista Hastings, Josiah Hixon, Derrick Johnson, Hayley Lowry, Genesis Medina, Liam Nystrum, Naiya Pallard, Andrew Payne, Hannah Pickerall, Aaron Powell, Andrew Sandeen, Alyssa Selin, Katie Snyder and Emily Thompson.
The Marriage of Figaro also featured many unique and enjoyable staging moments. Most deserving of special mention was the clever and creative staging for Figaro's Act I aria "Non piu andrai", which involved turning ordinary bedroom and household objects into battlefield trenches and war time objects as Figaro explains to young page boy Cherubino what to expect in life as a soldier. The tableux at the end of Act III featuring all of the main couples was also gorgeous. The opera featured delightful costumes and a very detailed and intricate set for each act.
The Marriage of Figaro will continue on May 31 at 7:30 PM and June 1 at 3:00 PM. All performances occur in the Kepler Center Theater on the campus of Hagerstown Community College in Hagerstown, MD. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $15 for students and seniors. Tickets are available online or at the box office. For more information about upcoming performances, please visit http://www.huboperaensemble.org/
Photo Credit: Perk Hull Design/Hagerstown Hub Opera