What moves us

Six friends for Figaro

All of the main roles in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO have been cast from the ensemble. Here singers describe the experience of treading the boards alongside friends

 

 

Meechot Marrero

[a member of the ensemble since 2017] sings Cherubino

 

In the early stages my world was reduced to my apartment and the rehearsal rooms. So many new roles, so little time! I got a lot of help from my colleagues. I don’t know what I would’ve done without Thomas Lehman – and I’m not the only one. Anyway, sooner or later it calms down and now and then I sing at other venues. Which is what makes it even more of a pleasure to be back rehearsing with the ensemble for FIGARO. Some things you can only pick up here: for example, there’s only one place where you get to see Burkhard Ulrich painstakingly rehearsing a simple stage direction.

 

 

Burkhard Ulrich

[since 2001] sings Don Basilio

 

 

FIGARO was my first opera here, over 20 years ago. Since then I’ve sung many parts, as guest too, but I never wanted to cut my links with the ensemble. Rehearsals are simply more intense here. And FIGARO is a case in point: you can instantly tell if the singers are really on the same wavelength or if they’re just delivering their individual performances. The acting is important to me; musical perfection without good acting leaves me cold. You need empathy on stage, and that comes from a sympathy within the group: for instance, has X forgotten his lines or is he pausing for dramatic effect? Ensemble for me means working on nuances and enjoying listening to people.

 

 

 

Padraic Rowan

[since 2019] sings Bartolo

 

Looking back on my four years in the ensemble, I can truly say that a performance is so much more enjoyable when you know the people you’re working with. It’s really nice looking at familiar faces across the stage. And it’s totally ok if the guy is playing my son one day and my mortal enemy the next. In fact it’s better that way, because we keep seeing new facets of each other’s character, musically and as a human being. 

 

 

Thomas Lehman

[since 2014] sings Count Almaviva

 

 

I had it easy because our language of communication in the ensemble is English, my mother tongue. My feeling at home, though, was all due to the people, singers like Seth Carico, who took me under his wing and helped me settle in. It means a lot to me to be standing on stage with my friends, especially in a comic opera. Count Almaviva has a lot of slapstick scenes with Cherubino, his page, sung by Meechot Marrero. Because we know each other so well, there’s an ease and naturalness to the way we play it, and I think audiences pick up on that.

 

 

 

Maria Motolygina

[since 2022] sings Countess Almaviva

 

For me the ensemble is a mixture of family and masterclass. You might assume that we’re kind of competing with each other, but I’m happy to say that that’s not been my experience. From the start, everyone’s given me great tips on my various roles – and it’s the same with me now. There are no secret tricks that you should be keeping to yourself. Each singer is unique anyway – and that’s just one of the many things I’ve learnt from working as part of the ensemble.

 

 

Lilit Davtyan

[since 2023] sings Susanna

 

 

Quite recently, a year ago, I was singing Barbarina at the Bolshoi. I saw the role of Susanna and thought, wow, what a great part, what a great woman – clever, plucky, attractive, cool. And now here I am, playing her on the main stage. It’s still hard to get my head around. Everything’s still very new: country, language, people, parts to play. I was really floundering at first, but now I’m just grateful to be allowed to be here, to be getting to know all my fellow singers, many of them for the first time on this FIGARO production.

 

 

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