MARRIAGE OF FIGARO
"Stowe Opera, out of action since 2005, reappeared at Winslow Hall, continuity ensured by the artistic team of conductor Robert Secret and director Yvonne Fontane, a rare singer to have performed both Carmen and the Countess. Her production of Le nozze di Figaro was just about faultless too, perceptive, funny, sweet, touching, her Countess dramatically many layered and fitting comfortably in the voice. A fabulous ensemble – Marc Callahan’s personable Figaro, Michael Davis as an intelligent and brutal Count backed up by a true star, Helen Massey’s utterly delightful Susanna, whose confident performance was true joy. It’s not easy to do Figaro right, and this was a treat"
After a seven-year hiatus, Stowe Opera has risen phoenix-like at a new venue: the magnificent Winslow Hall, a Grade I-listed mansion situated just over the Buckinghamshire border. The house is now owned by Christopher Gilmour and his wife Mardi, and they have invited Stowe Opera to pitch a tent (well, a large marquee to be precise) in their garden. Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro is the work chosen and as a sparkling account of the overture gave way to Figaro’s first exchanges with his bride Susanna, it became apparent that the tent possesses excellent acoustics.