Figaro’s ‘Funfair’ illuminates the Royal Theatre

Imagine a cradle. An orchestra gently lies in it when suddenly the lights turn on. The truth is soon unveiled: the sparkling word ‘Funfair’ hangs from above, and now the games can begin.

On 28 February, the Royal Theatre presented the premiere of Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’, an opera that doesn’t really need any further introduction.

But while I was ready for an opera buffa, I had not bargained on such pleasant cheerfulness. Presented in an uninterrupted stream of hilarity, it brushed every open heart.

As soon as the characters appeared on stage, the orchestra had become like additional performer itself in the funny and dynamic sketches.

The whole opera is beautifully sung. Set in a contemporary context – and told from a female point of view, with strong women, frail men and intrigues – it offers constant humour and joy.

As an Italian, I was truly impressed by the perfect Italian pronunciation of Henning von Schulman as Figaro, who never once lost touch with his humanity and vitality during the three-hour performance.

I also particularly appreciated the androgynous Cherubino, a sensual and provocative role performed with great energy by Tuva Semmingsen.

Eventually, the cradle becomes quiet, the ‘Funfair’ turns its lights off, and the happy ending is served to everyone, audience included.