Accompanied by Colin Forbes, Tanuja Doss (Countess), Sheena Smith (Susannah), and Alison Knight (Cherubino) sang the dialogue prior to Cherubino's aria "Voi che sapete" in Act 2 of Mozart's Marriage of Figaro for Anthony Legge's masterclass and lecture on recitative at the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing October 2006 conference in Canberra. Also pictured is Christina Wallace who sang Cleopatra's recitative "E pur cosi in un giorno" from Handel's Julius Caesar for the same masterclass. (Voice of ANATS, 19(3):23, November 2006.)
The story of CAMRA's Marriage of Figaro
In 2005, several singers met together on Saturday afternoons and workshopped scenes from Figaro. They decided to take the project further, with a performance of highlights from the opera. Rather than just a 'concert' we decided on a semi-staged version to add interest and enjoyment. The singers themselves took responsibility for most of the production. Some of the arias were sung in Italian and some in English.
The Cherubino character was used a narrator to keep the audience up to speed with the intricacies of the plot, in place of the recitatives. This also made the cast smaller.
The performance was well received. So encouraged were we by the results, that we decided to present Marriage of Figaro in full in 2007, entirely in English.
The cast of the 2006 performance was:
Figaro : Peter Laurence
Susanna : Sheena Smith
Cherubino : Alison Knight
Countess : Tanuja Doss
Count : Paul Cambridge
Marcellina : Lella Fetter
Dr Bartolo : Robert Orr
Barbarina : Madeleine Rowland
Barbarina's friend : Odette Upstill
Don Curzio : Wiebe terBals
Director of Music and Pianist : Colin Forbes
Vocal Coach and Facilitator : Patricia Whitbread
Acknowledgement: Paul Cambridge and Wiebe terBals came from other studios to assist us.