Sex, lies and aristocracy...
Beaumarchais' The Guilty Mother
gets rare performances in co-presentation
by LA Opera and LA Theatre Works
(Los Angeles) December 8, 2014 (updated February 9, 2015, with cast information) — Pierre Beaumarchais' 1792 play The Guilty Mother, the last and least-known of the French playwright's trilogy of stage comedies about the adventures of Figaro, will be presented in a "radio theater-style performance" by LA Theatre Works in partnership with LA Opera. A highlight of LA Opera's Figaro Unbound celebration, The Guilty Mother will be directed by Michael Hackett, with performances taking place at 8pm on February 13 and 14 at UCLA's James Bridges Theater (235 Charles E. Young Drive East, Los Angeles, 90095).
About the Play
The Guilty Mother (La mère coupable, to use its original French title) is set two decades after the events depicted in the first two Figaro plays, The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro. The Count and Countess Almaviva have relocated to Paris, both of them hiding past sins. When a villain uncovers the family's secrets, the Almavivas seem certain to lose their fortune as well as their reputations. Their wily servant Figaro must come to the family's rescue yet again, using all of his wits and wisdom to ensure a happy ending.
About the Artists
Michael Hackett directs a cast led by Gregory Harrison as Figaro. Martin Jarvis and Deirdrie Henry will perform the roles of Count and Countess Almaviva, with Sue Cremin as Figaro's clever wife, Suzanne. Simon Templeman portrays the villainous Major Begearss. Jill Renner and Daniel Stewart are cast as the young lovers, Florestine and Leon.
The Play as an Opera
The Guilty Mother was the inspiration for composer John Corigliano's 1991 opera The Ghosts of Versailles. The opera be presented by LA Opera in its west coast premiere, opening on February 7, 2015, as part of its Figaro Trilogy, along with the well-known operatic adaptations of the first two Figaro plays: productions of Rossini's The Barber of Seville and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.
Tickets and Information
Tickets cost $24 and will go on sale to the general public at 10am on Tuesday, December 9. Tickets can be purchased in person at the LA Opera Box Office at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, 90012), by phone at 213.972.8001 or online at LAOpera.org. For disability access, call 213.972.0777 or email LAOpera@LAOpera.org. For more information, visit LAOpera.org/GuiltyMother.
About the Figaro Trilogy and Figaro Unbound
Throughout the second half of its 2014/15 season, LA Opera will follow the adventures of a history-making rascal named Figaro, the wily barber from Seville. This character first delighted late 18th-century French audiences as the hero of a trilogy of stage works by Beaumarchais. In these plays, which captured staggering changes in social attitudes, Figaro expressed daring new ideas about equality and liberty, boldly challenging the status quo with a sharp critique of the era in which he lived.
LA Opera's unusual programming of three operas based on the three Figaro plays within the span of three months—the familiar musical adaptations by Rossini and Mozart of the first two plays, as well as The Ghosts of Versailles, which incorporates the major plot elements of The Guilty Mother—gives music and theater lovers a rare opportunity to experience the complete Figaro Trilogy told in operatic form. Please visit LAOpera.org for more information about LA Opera's Figaro Trilogy.
In combination with the Figaro Trilogy, the lasting legacy of the free-thinking barber will be explored in Figaro Unbound, a three-month celebration of the revolutionary spirit. With a variety of programming for all ages, Figaro Unbound will investigate the ongoing relevance of Figaro and the Beaumarchais trilogy. There will be performances of alternate musical adaptations of Figaro’s story and opportunities to examine his lasting influence on American political and cultural life. Figaro Unbound partners include ArcLight Cinemas, the Hammer Museum, Opera UCLA, A Noise Within, LA Theatre Works, FIDM Museum, the Huntington Library, LACMA, the Norton Simon Museum, the Getty Museum, and the Opera League of Los Angeles, among others.
The cast of The Guilty Mother will be announced shortly. LA Theatre Works presents world-class actors in contemporary and classic plays through a unique hybrid form of audio theatre and innovative use of technology. For more information about LA Theatre Works, please click here.
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