Delight at the opera

Last night’s performance of Marriage of Figaro was before a full and very enthusiastic house. The Figaro (Morgan Smith) and the Susanna (Alicia Berneche) are the ones who’ll sing tomorrow evening, and they truly shone, not that our Countess (Jane Thorngren) and Almaviva weren’t excellent as well. This production design truly brought out the comedy without being slapstick. Today, this is performed at three o’clock and there will be tickets available; the same’s still true for tomorrow at 7:30. This is the most enjoyable production of this work that I’ve ever seen. There’ve been more elaborate ones, and ones that did some things better, but the time just flew by and the audience applause at the end went far beyond polite and dutiful. On the walk to the performance hall, alongside the Thompson Center, was a beautiful flower bed of bicolored crimson and cream snapdragons (perritos) backed by the drying pods of poppies. Starbucks was serving coffee in the lobby for the first time. People who had subscribed for next year’s season received personal thank-you notes at their seats. This is one of the great communal experiences in Austin.

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