Opera Philadelphia 2016-17 Preview: ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ Closes Season With Starry Young Cast

By Francisco Salazar

Opera Philadelphia’s has announced that it will conclude its 2016-17 season with a new production Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro.”

The company will get five performances at the Academy of Music from April 28-May 7, all of which will be conducted by Corrado Rovaris, Opera Philadelphia’s celebrated Jack Mulroney Music Director.

The new co-production, which premiered in November at Lyric Opera of Kansas City and will next travel to San Diego Opera and Palm Beach Opera, will be directed by Stephen Lawless, who led 2016’s crowd-pleasing production of Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love.” The production will feature set and costume designs by Leslie Travers.

Among the distinguished cast that Opera Philadelphia has lined are baritone John Chest and soprano Layla Claire, making their company debuts as the bickering Count and Countess Almaviva. Chest will represent the United States at the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in June while Claire has become one of the most sought-after lyric sopranos in the world.

Also making her company debut is Chinese soprano Ying Fang as Susanna, who recently received acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera as Elvira in Rossini’s “L’Italiana in Algeri.” Meanwhile, bass-baritone Brandon Cedel, whose last appearance on the Academy of Music stage was in the East Coast premiere of Kevin Puts’s “Silent Night,” will perform the title role of Figaro.

Mezzo Cecelia Hall rounds out the cast as Cherubino while bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi, whose 2016-2017 season began with a celebrated turn as Schaunard in Zeffirelli’s iconic Metropolitan Opera production of Puccini’s “La Bohéme,” makes his company and role debuts as Dr. Bartolo.