Figaro on the beach
Yesterday afternoon, a Labour Day holiday here in Canada, we had the pleasure of seeing and hearing a delightful and well-done performance of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro on the mainstage of Bard on the Beach. The energetic young stars of the UBC Opera Ensemble, from University of British Columbia’s Music School impressed us with their professionalism, well-trained and beautiful voices, their acting skills and the lovely costumes on this small stage with minimal props, shared with the Vancouver Opera orchestra.
Over the years, we’ve attended some of the Shakespearean plays here. The mainstage tent has an opening behind the stage overlooking English Bay and the North Shore mountains and sky. The Bard on the Beach Shakespearean Festival has become a well-loved and attended Vancouver cultural site every summer since it’s founding in 1990, by the amazing actor and director Christopher Gaze. This time Gaze was the host for Figaro, stepping in between scenes with quick, entertaining and helpful synopses of each scene, as they were sung in Italian.
I’m only sorry we were not allowed to take photos inside to show you, though I sneaked the top one just as some of the orchestra players began the warmup. Below is a view of the Bard on the Beach site – what a beautiful day it was (though hot inside the tent!). If you are ever in Vancouver in the summer and you love Shakespeare, this is the place to enjoy the Bard, along with certain special events such as Figaro!