Figaro Page to Stage
May 21, 2008
* Notes *
Les Waters moderated a discussion between Dominique Serrand, Bradley Greenwald, and David Gockley as part of Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Page to Stage program. Dominique Serrand is the artistic director of Jeune Lune, and also directs and stars in the production of Figaro currently at Berkeley Rep. Bradley Greenwald is Count Almaviva in Figaro, and adapted the music used for the production. David Gockley is the general director of San Francisco Opera. Waters started off by asking each of them questions, starting off with the "crossover" nature of Figaro, as it involves Mozart's opera, Beaumarchais' trilogy, and Serrand's scenography and video. How the music was adapted for string quartet and piano was mentioned, as was audience response, as the actors greet the audience after the performance. Many jokes were made about the appearance of opera singers versus the characters in this particular production. Questions from the audience were taken about when Beaumarchais wrote La Mère coupable, why Cherubino is played by a female, the strain of opera singers voices, and new media in opera.
* Tattling *
The crowd was fairly sparse, despite the large amounts of free coffee on offer. Serrand's mobile phone went off during David Gockley's first response, in which he mentioned Claus Guth's production of Le Nozze di Figaro. Gockley explained that this production at the Salzburger Festspiele features a silent Cupid who "sticks it to those horny people." The best quote of the evening, however came from Serrand, who said "I don't understand pyschological plays, with people on couches discussing their innards."