Sunday, February 08, 2009

The triumph of 'Figaro'

We had the pleasure last night of attending the premiere of a new production of 'The Marriage of Figaro' at the Millennium Centre. Instead of being set in the 18th century, it was set in the mid twentieth century, with a minimalist set in the southern European style. This was a surprise for half a minute, but quickly the different mis en scène made you look at the whole thing with different eyes. It made the messages about fidelity and double standards delivered by the story line seem a lot more relevant to a contemporary audience than might ordinarily be the case. The singing was superb, and the energetic comic interactions drew out the farcical element in a fresh way.

I've seen 'Figaro' half a dozen times at least, so now I don't have to read the synopsis beforehand to follow the twists and turns of the plot. I have to resist the temptation to hum along, as so many of its great melodies seem to have lodged themselves in corners of my brain, as they echoed later on in my dreams. It was a delightful refreshing evening. There were empty seats, probably due to the threatening weather. I hope there are good reviews to encourage those who missed out to make the effort to see it later in the run.

After lunch I found an email in my in-box announcing the appointment of Canon David Wilbourne of the Diocese of York as the next assistant Bishop of Llandaff, to be consecrated on 4th April, along with Gregory Cameron for St Asaph. It's good to think that the leadership of the Province will be up to full complement once more. Two senior diocesan leadership appointments this month from over the border. New blood equals fresh stimulus - always to be welcomed. I hope we won't disappoint them.

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