Last week a friend and I went to see Scottish Opera'S production of The Marriage of Figaro. It's a well-known and much loved Mozart opera but neither my friend nor I had ever seen it. Indeed, I played the Overture to M of F in our Salmon Arm High School Band...about 1960 or so.
What a treat to come across this fellow! He is Tobias Ringborg and is from Stockholm! He is presently in Glasgow conducting this opera.
Because my friend is visually impaired she reminded me that it would be best if we could have seats right down close to the stage. Well we ended up in the front row about 6 along to the right of the conductor and also had a bonus of a bird's eye view into the orchestra pit.
Yes, the staging and the singing and the acting - so animated! - was up to its excellent standard, and there were even super-titles. But I just couldn't take my eyes off this fellow! He conducted with just a hymnary-sized hardback book on his podium and silently mouthed every singer's part. He would have his head up all the time and occasionally stop to leaf over a fistful of pages and then carry on... (unfortunately seldom pausing for applause, however. Well... it is a rather long opera.)
The audience - and we are talking about a Glasgow audience who are a very, very special group of people at whatever the occasion! - gave the orchestra a very warm and appreciative applause at the end. (I am not talking about the
American style where people shout and stand up ... no this was hearty and sustained.) I had never heard it before; it was wonderful to be part of it!
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These 2 photos taken by Ryan Garrison, 2012, are from the Tobias Ringborg website:
What do I like about this one? The red barn wall ... so Swedish ... says it all!