MUSIC / Notices: Le Nozze di Figaro - Sadler's Wells, EC1

Click to follow
Should a touring company perform, as Glyndebourne Touring Opera does, in the original language? There is less harm done to Mozart than to Janacek, also on the tour, but the damage is there: the singers seem less to act than to mime. The fault runs deep through Stephen Medcalf's thoughtful but pedantic production. The result is a staging that illustrates rather than illuminates. There are revealing moments: when the peasants, ostensibly praising Ralf Lukas's authoritative Count, back him into a corner as if, given half a chance, they'd have his guts for garters. And Regina Nathan's Susanna is delightful, the voice pure, the comic timing exact. Vain and grasping, this lady's maid runs the show. This is a decisively comic Figaro, barely hinting at tragedy or desperation. Juliet Booth's first-night nerves severely compromised the pathos in the Countess's arias: no doubt confidence will grow as the tour progresses. All the voices are bright and eager, though not always best served by Marco Guidarini's unassertive conducting.