Overview

Regarded by many as the greatest opera of all time, this tale of deception is a romantic comedy accompanied by some of the most beautiful and familiar music ever written. Mozart takes audiences on a hilarious adventure as Figaro and Susanna overcome plotting and jealousy to make it to their wedding day. A winning combination of music and mischief.

Stephen Lord – “I was privileged to premiere this production so it has a bit of my personal stamp on it. It has gone on to be performed in more than 40 theaters worldwide and is as timeless as any Figaro. I am looking forward to sharing it with Detroit audiences.”

Sung in Italian with English supertitles projected above the stage.

Artists

Stephen Powell

Count Almaviva

November 11, 15, 18

The dynamic American baritone Stephen Powell brings his handsome voice, elegant musicianship, and robust stage presence to a wide range of music, from Monteverdi and Handel through Verdi and Puccini to Sondheim and John Adams. Opera magazine has hailed him, writing “the big news was Stephen Powell’s gorgeously-sung Onegin: rock solid, with creamy legato from top to bottom and dynamics smoothly tapered but never exaggerated,” while The Wall Street Journal lauded his “rich, lyric baritone, commanding presence, and thoughtful musicianship.” In his recent debut in the title role of Verdi’s Falstaff, The Washington Times had this to say – “Vocally, Mr. Powell has a dominant, authoritative instrument but capably works falsetto and humorous tics into his routine as well. He is quite simply a marvelous, fully realized Falstaff, which is, after all, what this opera needs….with a Falstaff like Mr. Powell, everything else in the production pretty much falls into place.”

Stephen Powell

Count Almaviva

November 11, 15, 18

Edward Nelson

Count Almaviva

November 19

Baritone Edward Nelson makes his Michigan Opera Theatre debut as the Count in The Marriage of Figaro. Mr. Nelson made his European and role debut singing Pelléas in Pelléas et Mélisande with the Norwegian National Opera. Other recent engagements include Schaunard in La bohème with Cincinnati Opera and the title role in Hamlet with West Edge Opera. As an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera he performed the roles of Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Yamadori in Madama Butterfly and Moralès in Calixto Bieto’s production of Carmen. Additionally he originated roles in two world premieres: Eunich/Stone in Dream of the Red Chamber and Lt. John Buckley in Two Women. Other recent appearances include and The Wanderer (Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin) with Jessica Lang Dance at Chicago’s Harris Theater. Upcoming engagements include a debut at Washington National Opera as Maximilian in Candide.

Edward Nelson

Count Almaviva

November 19

Devon Guthrie

Susanna

November 11, 15, 18

American soprano Devon Guthrie made an acclaimed debut as Susanna in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro at English National Opera when she was still a student at the Juilliard School. Recent operatic roles include: Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus with Santa Fe Opera; Konstanze in Abduction from the Seraglio with Kentucky Opera and creating the role of Mary Johnson in the world premiere of Fellow Travelers with Cincinnati Opera. Other roles include Daisy Buchanan in John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby, Pamina and Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte and Chocholka in The Cunning Little Vixen. Guthrie has won such awards as the Gerda Lissner Competition, Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition, Licia Albanese Competition and the Liederkranz Vocal Competition. She was also an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera and Tanglewood Music Festival, where she worked with James Levine. In the 2017/2018 season, she will be returning to the role of Mary Johnson with The Prototype Festival and Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Devon Guthrie

Susanna

November 11, 15, 18

Maeve Hoglund

Susanna

November 19

Maeve Höglund makes her Michigan Opera Theatre debut as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. The New York Times praised her as “a striking soprano,” and one who “stands out among singers.” Her recent highlights include performing Musetta in La bohème with Charleston Opera; Margaret Hughes in Floyd’s Prince of Players with Little Opera Theatre of New York; Arminda in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera with On Site Opera; Frasquita in Carmen with PORTOpera; Giunia in Mozart’s Lucio Silla with Chicago Opera Theater; and the News Anchor in Ter Veldhuis’ The News with Long Beach Opera. Ms. Höglund holds a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from New England Conservatory. She makes her Opera Philadelphia debut in the 2017-18 season as Lola in the world premiere of David Hertzberg’s opera The Wake World. She will also be a concert soloist in Messiah with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Maeve Hoglund

Susanna

November 19

Nicole Cabell

Countess Almaviva

November 11, 15, 18

Lyric soprano Nicole Cabell returns to Michigan Opera Theatre as Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro. Her previous MOT credits include Mimi in 2015’s La bohème, Violetta in 2013’s La Traviata and Musetta in 2005’s La bohème. She is the 2005 winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition whose solo album “Soprano” was named “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone magazine. Recent engagements include her debut as Porgy and Bess with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Mimi with the Minnesota and Cincinnati operas. She also performed Countess Almaviva with Angers Nantes Opera. Ms. Cabell’s 2017-18 season includes performances of the Countess Almaviva with the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Flavia in Eliogabalo with the Dutch National Opera, Micaela in Carmen with the Atlanta Opera, and a solo recital at the Frankfurt Opera. Future engagements also include returns to London, Geneva, Atlanta, and a debut in Amsterdam.

Nicole Cabell

Countess Almaviva

November 11, 15, 18

Julie Adams

Countess Almaviva

November 19

Soprano Julie Adams has been praised by the New York Times for possessing a voice that is “rich, full and slightly earthy in an expressive way.” She is a winner of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the 2015 George London Award, the 2015 Elizabeth Connell prize for aspiring dramatic sopranos and a recipient of a 2015 Sara Tucker Study Grant. Performance highlights include Mimi in La bohème and covering both Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and the title role in Jenůfa at San Francisco Opera. Future performances include Freia in Das Rheingold and Gerhilde in Die Walküre in Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen with San Francisco opera and Blanche in André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire with Opera Idaho.

Julie Adams

Countess Almaviva

November 19

Aubrey Allicock

Figaro

November 11, 15, 18

Bass-baritone Aubrey Allicock makes his Michigan Opera Theatre debut as Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro. Appearing with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis on several occasions, he originated the roles of Young Emile Griffith in Terence Blanchard’s Champion and Bulbul Fakh in Shalimar the Clown. Highlights from recent engagements include reprising his role in Champion with Washington National Opera and debuts with The Royal Concertgebouw in John Adams’s El Niño and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Doctor Atomic. Notable debuts include: the Glyndebourne Festival as Argante in Rinaldo, the Metropolitan Opera as Mamoud in The Death of Klinghoffer and principal artist engagements with the Wexford Festival, Seattle Opera, Ojai Festival, Carnegie Hall and Komische Oper Berlin. This season he will perform with Opera Philadelphia in We Shall Not Be Moved with a reprise at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and the Hackney Empire theater in London as co-producer with English National Opera. He will also reprise his role in Champion with New Orleans Opera.

Aubrey Allicock

Figaro

November 11, 15, 18

Matthew Stump

Figaro

November 19

Matthew Stump is a bass-baritone from Goshen, Indiana. He has performed in Michigan previously, recording with Metro Detroit-based choir, Sounding Light. This summer, he portrayed Publio in La clemenza di Tito and The Bonze in Madame Butterfly at Opera Theater of Saint Louis. Before that, Matthew was an Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera, where he performed several roles including Trojan Soldier in Les Troyens, Ufficiale in the Barber of Seville, Monk in Don Carlo and Foreman in Jenufa. He also performed with West Bay Opera singing in Gianni Schicchi as Simone. During his time in Texas, Matthew performed with Dallas Opera and Fort Worth Opera singing in Salome, Pearl Fishers and Silent Night. He has received training through the San Francisco Opera Center and holds a master’s degree from the University of North Texas.

Matthew Stump

Figaro

November 19

Sarah Coit

Cherubino

Mezzo-soprano Sarah Coit holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan and is delighted to return to Michigan! She recently sang Alisa in Santa Fe Opera’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor as a member of the 2017 Apprentice Singer Program. She also has spent the last year performing in workshops, eventually covering the role of Laurene Powell Jobs in the world premiere of Mason Bates’ The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. She is a recent graduate of the Utah Opera Resident Artist Program where she recently performed the role of Zerlina in Don Giovanni. She was a 2017 National Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Along with her degree from Michigan, she holds bachelor’s degrees in Music Studies and Theatre Performance from the University of South Florida. Upcoming engagements include Mama/Madre Luna in Shoes for the Santo Niño with Santa Fe Opera’s Opera for All Voices program and Santa Fe Opera’s Winter Tour.

Sarah Coit

Cherubino

Matthew Burns

Dr. Bartolo

Bass-baritone Matthew Burns will be making his Michigan Opera Theatre début this season as Bartolo in The Marriage of Figaro. Some career highlights of Mr. Burns include an Austin Opera début as the role of Leporello in Don Giovanni, which he also performed with Arizona Opera; several role débuts including Gus O’Neill in Later That Same Evening and Pistacchio in Donzetti’s Il campanello di notte with Opera Memphis and Bagaers in Milhaud’s La mere coupable with Onsite Opera; Otec in Smetana’s The Kiss and Rambaldo in La rondine with Opera Theatre Saint Louis; and the title role in Le nozze di Figaro with Virginia Opera. Mr. Burns has recently been appointed to the voice faculty of his alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University. This season, he performs the role of Dr. Primus/Sir Simon in The Canterville Ghost/Usher House with The Center for Contemporary Opera and Los Angeles Opera; Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Virginia Opera; and Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia.

Matthew Burns

Dr. Bartolo

Susanne Mentzer

Marcellina

American mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer has been enjoying a significant opera, concert, chamber music and recital career for more than 30 years, appearing on four continents with nearly every great opera house and orchestra. She has been a guest artist at the Metropolitan Opera in leading roles since 1989 and specializes in the music of Mozart, Berlioz, Rossini, and Strauss. She is widely admired in trouser roles of Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Idamante in Idomeneo, der Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos, and Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier. Other noted roles include Dorabella and Despina in Così fan tutte, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Adalgisa in Norma, and Jane Seymour in Anna Bolena. Susanne recently added new roles to her repertoire as Mrs. Patrick DeRocher in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd with Opera Theatre Saint Louis and Nellie in Carlisle Floyd’s Wuthering Heights, which has also been recorded for commercial release.

Susanne Mentzer

Marcellina

Michael Day

Don Basilio

Tenor Michael Day makes his Michigan Opera Theatre debut this season as a Michigan Opera Theatre Studio Artist. His performance credits include singing with Indiana University Opera Theatre, the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Indianapolis Pro Musica, the Bloomington Chamber Singers and Utah Festival Opera, where he worked as a young artist. He recently returned to the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis this summer as a Richard Gaddes Festival Artist, singing the role of Al Joad in a new performing version of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and vocal performance from Indiana University and is currently completing a master’s degree from the university. This season, Michael will perform Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro, the dual role of Pablo Picasso/F. Scott Fitzgerald in Gordon’s 27 and Spoletta in Tosca at MOT.

Michael Day

Don Basilio

Sasha Noori

Don Curzio

Tenor and Monroe, Michigan native Sasha Noori is a frequent performer with Michigan Opera Theatre. He appears this season as Don Curzio in The Marriage of Figaro and sang the comprimario role of French Soldier #2 in MOT’s production of Silent Night last season. He has been singing in the MOT Chorus since 2013 and is a part of MOT’s community outreach program, where he sang the roles of Scarpio in La Pizza con Funghi, and The Prince in Rumpelstiltskin. He is a proud alumnus of the University of Toledo, where he received his Master of Music degree.

Sasha Noori

Don Curzio

Angela Theis

Barbarina

Soprano Angela Theis of Grosse Pointe, Michigan is an original member of the Michigan Opera Theatre Studio, having recently finished her second year in the program. She is featured on the David DiChiera Letters & Fantasies album and continues to be an ambassador for Michigan Opera Theatre and the music of its founder. Since her company debut in 2011, she has performed Beth in Little Women, Frasquita in Carmen, Papagena (Pamina cover) in The Magic Flute, Laurie in The Tender Land, Yvette in The Passenger, the High Priestess in Aïda, and Marzelline in Fidelio. Around the country, opera highlights include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro (Toledo Opera), Clorinda in La Cenerentola (Opera Roanoke), and Adina in L’elisir d’amore (Eugene Opera). As part of her studies in Austria, she completed a fellowship at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg. In March, she will appear as the soprano soloist in Voices of Light at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Angela Theis

Barbarina

Nicholas Davis

Antonio

Nicholas Davis made his Michigan Opera Theatre debut as Happy in last season’s The Girl of the Golden and returns as Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro. Acknowledged for his rolling mellifluous baritone by Opera Today, Mr. Davis is enjoying success both at home and internationally. In 2014, he became the first American to win first prize in the International Antonín Dvořák Singing Competition. The 2015-2016 season saw Mr. Davis’ international debut in concert with the National Theatre Prague. He was also hosted in recital at the American Center for the United States Ambassador to the Czech Republic. Mr. Davis made his Santa Fe Opera debut in the 2016 season as Jake Wallace in The Girl of the Golden West and as Gregorio in Romeo et Juliette. Most recently, he has been engaged by Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Philadelphia, Chicago Sinfonietta and the Glimmerglass Festival.

Nicholas Davis

Antonio

Michael Patrick Albano

Director

Michael Patrick Albano’s directorial credits include Il Barbiere di Siviglia for the New York City Opera, La Bohème for the Canadian Opera Company, Le Comte Ory for the Manhattan School of Music, La Belle Hélène for the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, La Fille du Régiment for L’Opéra de Montreal, La Traviata for the Opera Festival of New Jersey, The Gondoliers for the Brevard Festival, Die Fledermaus for the Kentucky Opera and Le Nozze di Figaro for both the Wolftrap Opera Company and the Yale School of Music.

In addition, Mr. Albano is the resident stage director of Opera Studies at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music where he has staged over 50 operas including the Canadian premieres of Debussy’s L’Enfant Prodigue, Paisiello’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Britten’s Paul Bunyan.

An accomplished writer and librettist, Mr. Albano wrote Loss of Eden (based upon the lives of Charles and Anne Lindbergh) which was premiered by the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, subsequently repeated in Minneapolis and broadcast over National Public Radio. In addition, he has written librettos for seven frequently performed children’s operas. His current libretto undertaking is Fall River, The Legend of Lizzie Borden slated for performance in March of 2019.

Following Michigan Opera Theatre’s production of The Marriage of Figaro, Mr. Albano returns to Canada to direct a new production of George Gershwin’s Of Thee I Sing.

Michael Patrick Albano

Director

Stephen Lord

Conductor

Stephen Lord joined Michigan Opera Theatre as Principal Conductor in November 2016, and he will lead the company’s artistic activities through the 2018-19 season.

Opera News named Lord one of the “25 Most Powerful Names in U.S. Opera” (one of four conductors), and he is continually praised for conducting both traditional and contemporary operatic works. For his debut with San Francisco Opera, conducting Rigoletto, one critic observed, “He partnered his singers perfectly and gave everything its proper weight – he was master of the score’s details and the orchestra played superbly for him.” He is currently music director emeritus for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and was formerly the music director of Boston Lyric Opera.

In addition to this work in Saint Louis and Detroit, he has been a frequent guest conductor at the Canadian Opera Company, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, San Francisco Opera and the English National Opera, returning there for four consecutive seasons.

An outstanding mentor and discoverer of young talent, he has been directly responsible for the initial work of Lawrence Brownlee, Russell Thomas, Morris Robinson, Susan Graham, Christine Goerke, Patricia Racette and literally scores more of today’s best singers.

Stephen Lord

Conductor

See all artists

Collapse artists

Synopsis

ACT I
Figaro, former barber of Seville, measures the room he will occupy after his marriage to Susanna. Both are in the service of Count Almaviva, and when Susanna warns her fiancé that the Count has given them this room near his own because he has designs on her, Figaro vows to outwit his master (“Se vuol ballare”). After they leave, Dr. Bartolo, the Countess’s onetime guardian and suitor, arrives with his housekeeper, Marcellina. Bartolo is eager for revenge on Figaro, whose machinations caused him to lose his ward to Almaviva. Knowing that Figaro once gave Marcellina his promise of marriage as collateral on a loan, Bartolo persuades her to foreclose (“La vendetta”) and leaves. When Susanna returns, she trades insults with her would-be rival (“Via resti servita”), who storms out. The skirt-chasing page Cherubino steals in, begging Susanna’s protection from the Count, who has caught him flirting with Barbarina, the gardener’s daughter. After pouring out his amorous enthusiasm (“Non so più”), he hides as the Count enters to woo Susanna. Interrupted by the arrival of the music master, Don Basilio, the Count in turn hides, but he steps forward when Basilio hints that Cherubino has a crush on the Countess. Just as the Count discovers the hapless Cherubino, Figaro brings in a group of peasants to salute their lord for abolishing the droit du seigneur, an old custom giving the local landowner the first night with any bride among his retainers. Feigning good will, the Count drafts Cherubino into his regiment. Figaro teases the boy about his new military life (“Non più andrai”).

ACT II
In her boudoir, the Countess laments the waning of her husband’s love (“Porgi, amor”). When Figaro and Susanna arrive with news of the Count’s machinations, the three plot to chasten him. Cherubino, disguised as Susanna, will keep an assignation with the Count. When Figaro leaves, the page comes to serenade the Countess with a song of his own composition (“Voi che sapete”). While dressing the boy in girl’s clothes, Susanna goes out for a ribbon, and the Count knocks, furious to find the door barred. The Countess locks Cherubino in a closet before admitting her husband. The jealous Count hears a noise; the Countess insists it’s Susanna, but he doesn’t believe her. Taking his wife with him, he goes to fetch tools to force the lock. Susanna, who has slipped in unnoticed during their confrontation, helps Cherubino out a window and takes his place in the closet, baffling both Count and Countess when they return. As the Count tries to make amends, the gardener, Antonio, appears, complaining that someone has stepped in his flower bed. Figaro, arriving to say the wedding ceremony is ready to begin, claims it was he who jumped from the window and fakes a twisted ankle. When the Count asks him about a paper found among the geraniums, Figaro, prompted by the women, correctly identifies it as Cherubino’s commission. Bartolo and Basilio burst in with Marcellina to press her claims against Figaro. The Count gladly postpones the wedding, pledging to judge the case himself.

ACT III
At the Countess’s prompting, Susanna promises the Count a rendezvous (“Crudel! perchè finora”), but his suspicions are aroused when he overhears her assuring Figaro that the case is won. Enraged, he vows revenge (“Vedrò, mentr’io sospiro”). Alone, the Countess hopes to revive her husband’s love (“Dove sono”). Marcellina now demands that Figaro pay his debt or marry her, but a birthmark proves he is her long-lost son by Bartolo, and the parents call off their suit, confounding the Count (“Riconosci in questo amplesso”). The conspiracy continues: the Countess dictates a note from Susanna, inviting the Count to the garden (“Che soave zeffiretto”). Peasants, among them Cherubino, disguised as a girl, bring flowers to their lady. Figaro arrives, and, as the wedding ceremony at last takes place, Susanna slips the note, sealed with a pin, to the Count.

ACT IV
The pin is meant to accompany the Count’s reply, but Barbarina, his messenger, has lost it in the dusky garden (“L’ho perduta, me meschina”). She explains her predicament to Figaro, who, unaware of the ladies’ latest plot, thinks Susanna has betrayed him. He gives Barbarina another pin, planning to ambush his bride with the Count, then turns to his mother, Marcellina, for comfort. The crafty Basilio says it pays to play the fool. Figaro, left alone, curses women for their duplicity (“Aprite un po'”), then hides when Susanna appears, rhapsodizing on her love for Figaro without naming him (“Deh vieni”). Figaro is beside himself, assuming her serenade is meant for the Count. Susanna and the Countess secretly exchange dresses, and in the darkness both Cherubino and the Count woo the Countess, thinking her to be Susanna (“Pian, pianin le andrò più presso”). Figaro at last perceives the joke and gets even by wooing Susanna in her Countess disguise, provoking and then pacifying her. When the Count returns, he sees Figaro flirting with what appears to be the Countess. He calls the whole company to witness his judgment but is silenced when the real Countess appears and reveals the ruse. She grants the Count’s plea for forgiveness (“Contessa, perdono”), and everyone celebrates.

Read more 

Read less 

Sponsors