The annual PCC narropera performance. Mozart’s Figaro opera is one of the most beautiful in the whole opera repertoire, with an entertaining story and wonderful music. Narropera fascinates by drawing the listener into a ‘Tale for Grown-ups, told in speech and song’.
Narropera in Peel, Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro as narrated opera
The performers in The Narropera Trio are German soprano Dorothee Jansen; French violinist Floriane Peycelon; Kiwi pianist/narrator Haydn Rawstron. This Peel narropera performance is the 86th since The Narropera Trio invented the new art form, narropera, in 2013.
A musical and narrative entertainment
Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro is not as well known as one thinks.
The ubiquitously-known, original version of Mozart’s famous opera, The Marriage of Figaro, was first performed in 1786. Astonishingly, few people are aware that Mozart and his librettist made significant changes to the original version of their opera, three years later, for a revival of The Marriage of Figaro, in Vienna, in 1789.
These major changes, to all intents and purposes, remain unknown today, even to singers, conductors and stage directors, not to mention to the general public. This Peel performance of The Marriage of Figaro will contain a good handful of surprises, all of great merit and interest. It is most probable that some of these surprises will never previously have been heard on the Isle of Man.
It is seven years since narropera began as a kiwi idea, a knee-jerk response to earthquake traumas in Christchurch, New Zealand; now, over the last year, and in the international world of opera, narropera has been accepted as a new art-form or ‘neue Kunstgattung’, the technical phrase used by one German critic, when dubbing narropera a separate art form.
Another German critic, writing after a recent performance in the Beethoven Chamber Hall in Bonn, claimed “narropera is a genuine complement to the real thing” and a third German critic has coined the phrase: “narropera is a short-winded tale for grown-ups, where song and speech are finely balanced’.
For narropera to be appreciated in Germany is an important milestone along the road to widespread acceptance. Among the ‘Premier League’ of opera nations, Germany is unassailable champion, producing many thousands of opera performances each year. Seven successful narropera performances in three contrasting parts of Germany already serve to demonstrate that Germans can also appreciate narropera’s special contribution to their ‘opera world’.
The composition of each narropera is the same. The opera’s story is narrated in detail. Each narropera also consists of ten – twelve pieces of music carefully selected from the particular opera which narropera seeks to illuminate.These musical pieces are dropped into the narrative at the appropriate moments, giving insight into both the story and the music itself.
Each piece of music is arranged for a chamber music trio of singer, violinist and pianist/narrator: arias, duets, trios and even larger ensembles. This mixture produces a good variety of expression, from ‘monologue’ through ‘dialogue’ to ‘collective moralising’.
Haydn and his wife, Dorothee, who live in Castletown when not narroperising around the world, are the co-inventors of narropera and have been the common denominator in the 85 narropera performances in New Zealand and Europe, since 2013. By contrast, the French violinist, Floriane Peycelon first joined The Narropera Trio in 2016.
As with all narroperas, this performance will be presented without an interval. Marriage of Figaro will last around 85 minutes and will be a treat for those who are interested in opera, singing, public story-telling, chamber music or just simply in good entertainment.