Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91)
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte (1749-1838)
A cornerstone of the operatic
repertoire, The Marriage of Figaro is one of the most
famous operas ever written. A boisterous romantic comedy,
the story intertwines well-known melodies with a wildly
entertaining parade of identities mistaken, ruses gone awry,
tables turned, and no end of surprises.
comic opera, sung in English, covers one “crazy day” in a
nobleman’s court. Colorful sets and rich costumes showcase a
cast of nationally known opera stars and full orchestra.
Launching its tenth season, Rimrock Opera’s production is
set for Saturday, September 20, at 7:30 and Sunday,
September 21, at 3:00 PM at the Alberta Bair Theater.
SynopsisCast of Characters:
Holmes - baritone, about 26, immensely wealthy, married to Rosina; bored, unhappy young lord of the manor, who both before and after his marriage has been seeking comfort in the beds of other women; insecure in love, lavish, generous and extravagant, solitary, brooding; with a great capacity for suspicion and able to be wildly jealous of Rosina. Fancies himself a wild, romantic womanizer. Liable to vent his temper on anyone available; not much interested in ruling his subjects or improving their lives in any way; consequently rather unpopular with them. Has recently abolished the droit
de seigneur; is now pursuing Susanna and has become jealous and
resentful of Figaro for being betrothed to her.
Countess Almaviva (ROSINA)
- soprano, 19, Bartolo's former ward; married three years ago to the Count. The strongest character in the opera; still very much in love with the Count despite his treatment of her. Tries to turn a blind eye to his affairs. Gentle, graceful and dignified, patches up the Count's sporadic and thoughtless treatment of his subjects - loved by them. Clever, wry sense of humor; covers up her feelings when in company. Susanna is her closest friend.
Amy Logan- soprano, 19, chambermaid and confidante to Rosina; betrothed (later married) to Figaro. Quick-witted, competent, mercurial, bold, sharp-tongued, a born mimic; generally easy and joyous attitude to life. Has a soft spot for Cherubino, as do most of the women in the castle. Despises the Count, but refrains from criticizing him too much in Rosina's company.
Taylor - bass, about 28, previously the Barber of Seville; three years ago helped the Count obtain Rosina, in gratitude was made his personal valet; self-educated, betrothed to Susanna. Has recently lost the Count's good will on account of being engaged to Susanna. Looks at everything with a broad humor, even the Count's pursuit of his fiancée. More easy-going than Susanna, not at all suspicious but able to be as hot-blooded as any of the others when occasion demands it. Adept at plotting and getting out of difficult situations; able to
think on his feet.
- mezzo-soprano, 12-13, a love-obsessed young page in Almaviva's castle; the Countess's godson; possibly one of the Count's many illegitimate offspring around the place from before his marriage. Just coming to terms with hormones - has crushes on Rosina, Susanna, Barbarina, Marcellina and most of the other women in the palace. Elegant, flighty, accomplished, self-admiring, cheeky, fancies himself romantic. Always getting on the Count's nerves, but a great favorite with everyone else. A charming nuisance.
- mezzo-soprano, in her fifties, Bartolo's old housekeeper and formerly Rosina's governess; hopes to marry Figaro, by means of an old contract whereby he promised to marry her if he couldn't repay the money she lent him. Once (briefly) a lover of Bartolo, when first in his service; had a son by him, who was lost.
- bass, at least 60, possibly eighties; medical doctor, former guardian and suitor of Rosina; bears a grudge against Figaro for his part in 'stealing' her from him and so is willing to further Marcellina's cause.
Isai Jess Muñoz
- tenor, late 40s or early 50s, singing teacher of Susanna, formerly of Rosina, the Count's constant secret messenger and spokesman to his many clandestine female friends over the years. Has recently been Susanna courting Susanna in the Count's name during her singing lessons.
Isai Jess Muñoz
- tenor, a judge called in by the Count to give the appearance of unbiased legitimacy to Marcellina's lawsuit against Figaro.
Erin Walker- soprano, 12, a peasant girl, Antonio's daughter, Susanna's cousin; hopes to marry Cherubino. Puts on a bold, cheeky face in company, but is really easily intimidated, anxious and tragically scarred by the oblivious Count's attentions. Hates him, but has no way of standing up to him.
- bass, 30s or 40s, the gardener; Barbarina's father, Susanna's uncle. Mostly drunk; terse and shrewd when sober. Doesn't want Susanna to marry Figaro, as he is low-born and doesn't know even who his parents are.
Two young girls
Chorus of Peasants
Nagel Stage Director and Producer
Reid Makeup and Wig Designer
Heyneman Lighting Designer
Sheppard Chorus Master
Rimrock Opera marks its 10th anniversary
with Mozart 'sequel' to company's 1st
Coming full circle with 'Figaro'
JACI WEBB Of The Gazette Staff | Posted:
Thursday, September 18, 2008 11:00 pm
It is fitting that in celebration of its
10th season, Rimrock Opera Company will
complete the story started in "The Barber of
Seville," presented by ROC in its inaugural
season, by performing "The Marriage of
Figaro" this weekend.
Both operas are
based on plays by Pierre Beaumarchais, but
"The Barber of Seville" was written by
Gioacchino Rossini and "Figaro" was penned
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Marriage of Figaro," which will be sung in
English, is considered some of Mozart's
finest music. The territory that the story
explores - the often contentious
relationship between the classes - was
controversial when it was written in the
mid-1780s. That's why the original play by
Beaumarchais was banned by French rulers and
why Mozart's opera made the Austrian
monarchy a bit nervous.
play and Mozart's opera illuminate the
limitations of rank and privilege, showing
that common sense can overcome wealth and
"The Barber of Seville" tells
the story of a young nobleman who won his
lover away from her lecherous guardian, Dr.
Bartolo, but only with considerable help
from his friend Figaro. As "The Marriage of
Figaro" begins, three years have passed. The
young lovers are now the Count and Countess
Almaviva and Figaro is the Count's valet and
engaged to marry the Countess' maid,
The story is set in Spain and
includes a double-wedding, the finding of a
long-lost son and a hilarious plot to fool
Performances on Saturday
night and Sunday afternoon at the Alberta
Bair Theater will feature several familiar
faces to local opera fans, including Skyview
High School choir teacher Amy Logan in a
leading role as Susanna. The title role is
played by Robert Aaron Taylor, who was the
show-stealing quack, Dr. Dulcamara, in
Rimrock Opera's "Elixir of Love."
Christopher Holmes returns to Rimrock Opera
in the role of Figaro's arrogant master,
Count Almaviva, with mezzo soprano Diedra
Walker as the clever Countess.
Douglas Nagel, general director of ROC,
takes pride in the fact that the Billings
opera company is an organization that
vocalists respect enough to return for
shows. Dennis Rupp, who plays Dr. Bartolo,
enjoyed performing with ROC and coming to
Billings so much, he moved here.
During rehearsal last week in the former Ben
Franklin store at West Park Plaza, Nagel led
a run-through of Acts 3 and 4. Nagel
champions the advancement of young
vocalists. In "Figaro," some members of the
chorus, including Kendra Hertz, have
advanced to the level of performing in the
adult chorus after years of performing with
the Rimrock Opera Chorus for Kids (ROCK).
"Theater is about learning timing,"
Nagel told the chorus. "You should always
give 100 percent."
Nancy Downing, Dennis Rupp, Chris Sheppard
and Isai Jess Munoz round out the cast.
Making his Billings conducting debut,
French-born Michel Singher, leads the
Rimrock Opera Orchestra. Sheppard prepared
the chorus and Sandi Rabas served as
Sets, costuming enhance 'Figaro'
JACI WEBB Of The Gazette Staff | Posted:
Friday, September 19, 2008 11:00 pm
Stunning sets, exquisite costumes and
polished voices all lead to another
top-notch production by the Rimrock Opera
This weekend, the
Billings-based ROC is finishing the story it
began 10 years ago in Rossini's "Barber of
Seville" with Mozart's "The Marriage of
Figaro." In those 10 years, Billings opera
fans have seen ROC's staging of "Tosca,"
"Carmen" and "Madama Butterfly." We've also
watched locals take on bigger and bigger
roles. In "Figaro," Skyview High choir
teacher Amy Logan is a highlight as the maid
At a dress rehearsal Thursday at
the Alberta Bair Theater, Logan's warm
soprano voice lifted her role as the saucy
maid to lofty heights. Twice Susanna punches
her beloved Figaro, then cowers to a demure
shuffle when she's around another suitor,
her boss' husband, Count Almaviva. Logan
handles each with ease.
directed by Douglas Nagel, pokes fun at the
class-conscious European bourgeoisie. The
more arrogant the aristocrats, the more fun
it is to torment them with involved plots,
fake notes and fabricated stories. Sharp
wits triumph over wealth.
Holmes plays the man we love to hate, Count
Almaviva. Is there any woman he doesn't
covet? Holmes is a rubber-faced actor and a
sure vocalist. His confidence on stage and
conceited eye rolls are perfect.
Diedre Walker, who plays the count's
long-suffering wife, is another head-turning
vocalist who has risen through the ROC
ranks. She began her experience with ROC as
a vocalist in the outreach program "The
Night Harry Stopped Smoking" in 2006.
It's great to see her again and hear her
Two more locals, Nancy
Downing as Marcellina and Dennis Rupp as Don
Bartolo, round out the cast as a quibbling
couple putting the squeeze on Figaro for
Robert Aaron Taylor, who showed
off his comedic side as Dr. Dulcamara in
ROC's "The Elixir of Love," plays the
gallant title character.
he's a foundling, Figaro proves he has more
class than his boss, the Count. Taylor
spices up the role with his rich baritone.
A couple of smaller roles provide the
funniest moments in this production. Meghan
Dibble plays the fickle soldier Cherubino,
who keeps showing up in women's bedrooms. At
one point, Cherubino dresses up as a woman
to avoid getting caught by the Count.
To watch a woman playing a man
pretending to be a woman is side-splitting.
Dibble moves as well as she sings - with
agility and cheek. And Isai Jess Munoz is
hilarious as the rumor-mongering lawyer with
his garish clothing, including 3-inch purple
heels, his swiveling hips and rubbery lips.
Costume designer Jill Port is to be
commended for stitching the elegant period
outfits in this production, and conductor
Michel Singher does an admirable job at
keeping the pace lively with the challenging
Cast members of
Rimrock Opera's Marriage of Figaro,
clockwise from top left: Robert Aaron Taylor
as "Figaro," Amy Logan as "Susanna," Diedra
Walker as "Countess Almaviva," and
Christopher Holmes as "Count Almaviva."
CASEY RIFFE/Gazette Staff
plays Countess Almaviva while Christopher
Holmes portrays Count Almaviva in Rimrock
Opera's "The Marriage of Figaro."
CASEY RIFFE/Gazette Staff
by Robert Aaron Taylor, and Susanna, played
by Amy Logan, share a tender moment and
tender voices in Rimrock Opera Company's
production of Mozart's "The Marriage of
CASEY RIFFE/Gazette Staff
Amy Logan as "Susanna," left, and
Christopher Holmes as "Count Almaviva" from
Rimrock Opera's Marriage of Figaro.
Rimrock Opera Company. All rights