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The Marriage of Figaro

June 29 @ 8:30 pm - 10:45 pm

$5.00 – $290.00

Mozart’s incredible ‘Marriage of Figaro’ encompasses so much more than the usual comedy, passion, lust and class war! It is rife with the what could be considered modern-day  themes like sexism, ‘me too’, predatory employers, a ‘Lolita’ scenario, Twitter-esque information exchanges and so much more. Yet all of these dark themes are elegantly and deftly encompassed in Mozart’s delightful, timeless music and Beaumarchais’ deep, witty text! Feminine wiles will thwart the attempted male domination – a philandering nobleman, an over-sexed teenager, an intrigue-spreading gossip are all countered by super intelligent women and the quick-thinking Figaro! You will laugh, you will cry, you will be outraged and you will ultimately be thrilled – and even with the difficult themes it is an opera for all ages because of the subtleties of the text and the glorious, ‘velvet glove’ of Mozart’s music! Our stellar cast, led by Maestro Jorge Parodi and directed by our own Maria Todaro, will make this opera come to life and create a life-changing experience!

Marriage of Figaro Synopsis Mozart’s chaotic whirlwind of mistaken identities, twists and turns, is a comedy that takes place on a single crazy day – the wedding day of Figaro and Susanna. From the first notes of the famous overture through to the Count’s lesson in marital fidelity, Mozart’s musical invention conveys a story in which the women are portrayed as wiser, shrewder and more civilized than the men.

Three years ago, Figaro helped Count Almaviva to marry Rosina, whom he stole from Dr Bartolo. Act I It is Susanna and Figaro’s wedding day. Susanna tells Figaro that the Count is propositioning her. Figaro is appalled that his master would dare seduce her and that he might reinstate the old tradition of droit de seigneur. Dr Bartolo and his old housemaid Marcellina arrive looking for the Count; they want to stop the wedding. Marcellina has a contract which states that Figaro must repay money that he owes her or marry her himself. Cherubino, the page boy, has been dismissed for being caught alone with Barbarina, the gardener’s daughter. Susanna tries to hide him but is interrupted first by her music teacher Don Basilio, and then the Count who, in his fury, sends Cherubino off to join the army. Figaro, however, ensures that Cherubino remains close by. He has a plan.

Act II The Countess is devastated that her husband is chasing other women, including her servant Susanna. Figaro has a plan to save the day. He has sent the Count an anonymous letter to say that the Countess will be meeting a lover this evening. He asks Susanna to lure the Count into the garden after the wedding. Figaro will make Cherubino take Susanna’s place, dressed as a girl, so that the Count will be humiliated. The Countess agrees to the plan. After receiving the anonymous letter, the Count returns to confront his wife, interrupting her just as she is dressing Cherubino as a girl for the evening’s assignation. Cherubino hides and then escapes by jumping out of the window. The Countess relents and explains the plan to her husband, saying that Figaro wrote the letter. Figaro denies everything. Just at that moment, Antonio the gardener arrives, complaining that someone jumped from the window and squashed his precious hydrangeas. Figaro, thinking on his feet, immediately claims it was he who jumped out of the window. Marcellina, Bartolo and Don Basilio burst in brandishing Marcellina’s contract. It looks like the wedding of Figaro and Susanna is off, and the wedding of Figaro and Marcellina is on!

Interval of 20 minutes

Act III The Countess has a new plan: she and Susanna will dress up as each other, meaning the Countess – rather than Cherubino – will be meeting the Count in disguise. They will write him a cryptic love letter, sealed with a pin and inscribed ‘return seal to sender’. Susanna must now proposition the Count, which she duly does. But the count overhears her tell Figaro that ‘they’ve won their case’. He vows revenge. The Count and Basilio have decided that Marcellina’s contract should stop the wedding. Through his protestations, Figaro discovers that he is actually Bartolo and Marcellina’s long-lost son. Restored to his parents, Figaro can finally get married to Susanna. It will be a double wedding with Bartolo and Marcellina. Then Antonio finds Cherubino, who has been hiding (dressed as a girl) at his house. Barbarina asks the Count for permission to marry Cherubino. He is forced to agree to this. All three weddings can finally take place. During the ceremony, Susanna passes the Count a love letter with her pin attached to it. The letter gives the details of where they are to meet later that evening.

Act IV The Garden The wedding night. The scene is set for the Countess’s new plan, and Figaro and the Count are none the wiser. Figaro and Marcellina find Barbarina in the garden. Figaro learns the Count has instructed Barbarina to fetch Susanna, whom the Count believes wrote him the love letter. Not knowing that this is all part of the Countess’s master plan, Figaro leaps to the conclusion that Susanna is unfaithful. Susanna and the Countess swap clothes, making sure that Figaro overhears Susanna preparing to meet the Count (‘her lover’) in the garden. The Countess (disguised as Susanna) enters the garden for her meeting with the Count, who, after rescuing her from Cherubino’s advances, is thrilled to see her. Figaro watches all this and seethes. Susanna (dressed as the Countess) arrives. Halfway through telling her that her husband and his wife are together, Figaro realizes that he’s actually talking to Susanna. He pretends to seduce ‘the Countess’. Susanna hits him. Figaro eventually tells her he had seen through the disguise, and when the Count comes back in, they play out a fake love scene to enrage their master. The Count calls everybody to witness his wife’s scandalous behavior. It is not until the real Countess reveals herself that the Count realizes what has happened and begs his wife’s forgiveness. From The English National Opera (ENO) edited by Louis Otey Artistic Director


Director – Maria Todaro
Conductor Jorge Parodi
Figaro- Brandon Coleman
Susanna- Cecilia Violetta Lopez
Count- Daniel Scofield
Countess- Stefania Dovhan
Cherubino- Abi Levis
Marcellina- Marianne Cornetti
Don Bartolo- Kevin Glavin
Don Basilio- Julius Ahn
Barbarina- Maia Jillian Weiss
Antonio – Stefan Szkafarowsky


Opera Passport

The Hudson Valley International Festival of the Voice participates with more than 50 opera companies in Opera America’s OPERA PASSPORT program. Ask us about this program


Maria Todaro

Maria Todaro

General Director, Founder, Stage Director

Born into a family of singers, Maria Todaro

has been surrounded by music and arts from a very young age. An artist and an art entrepreneur, this prominently established opera singer is also a stage director, librettist, choir director, and CEO of The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice.


Jorge Parodi conductor

Jorge Parodi 

Reviewed as having “the most expressive conducting hands since Stokowski” by the New York Daily News, Maestro Parodi has worked extensively in North America, Latin America and Asia.


Figaro – Brandon Coleman
has been praised for his “exotic vocal coloring” by Opera News and “wonderful resonance” by Classical Singer. He commands the stage with his confidence and lures the audience with his voice. Brandon’s 2022/2023 so far includes reprising the role of Garvey Preacher in X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X at Opera Omaha, the same role in which he debuted at Detroit Opera earlier this year. To start off the new year he will be debuting the World Premiere of La Flambeau as L’Homme with Montreal Symphony Orchestra. In April, he will be performing the role of Muhammad Ali in Approaching Ali at Opera Louisiane. Also, this summer Brandon will be performing the role of Heinrich in Lohengrin and the role of Ramfis in Aida at Utah Opera Festival. Check back soon for more details regarding more productions in the season.
He has performed with Hawaii Opera, Kentucky Opera, Utah Opera Festival, Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, Connecticut Opera, Connecticut Concert Opera, Opera New Jersey, Sarasota Opera, Tuscia Opera Festival, Dicapo Opera Theatre, Opera North, Toledo Opera, Central City Opera, Opera on the James, Tri-Cities Opera, Middlebury Opera, and Syracuse Opera.

Susanna- Cecilia Violetta Lopez
Celebrated soprano, Cecilia Violetta López, has been named one of “Idaho’s Top 10 Most Influential Women of the Century” by USA Today and has been named one of opera’s “25 Rising Stars” by Opera News. The singing actress is constantly praised for her “alluring voice and incredible range” (Washington Post).
She has received accolades for her signature role of Violetta in La traviata, which she has performed countless times throughout North America. Critic, James Jorden, exclaimed “she is a Violetta fully- formed and, I think, ready for the great stages of the world.” She has now performed the role with Minnesota Opera, Opera Colorado, Opera Tampa, Opera Idaho, Ash Lawn Opera, The Northern Lights Music Festival, Madison Opera, Pacific Symphony and Virginia Opera. Ms. López made her European début as Norina in Don Pasquale with Zomeropera in Belgium, for which Klassiek Centraal exclaimed: “She turns out to be the revelation of the show and wins over the audience with her funny rendition, irresistible charm, and [she is] natural in the different vocals.”
From her performance as Adina in The Elixir of Love with Virginia Opera, The Virginian- Pilot hailed, “Cecilia Violetta López is showing local audiences why Opera News named her one of its ’25 Rising Stars.’ In the lead role of Adina, she hit the highest notes with ringing clarity, performed the vocal runs with precision and grace and showed a particular charm and humanity in the softest passages and lowest ranges.” In her recent performance as Marguerite in Faust with Opera Omaha, the Omaha World-Herald claimed “…López sang Marguerite’s seduction, madness and salvation with an other wordly wisdom and artistry.”

Count – Daniel Scofield
Dramatic baritone Daniel Scofield is a two-time prize winner of the The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a recipient of the Olga Forrai Foundation grant for dramatic voices in opera. He begins the 23/24 season with a return to the Prague State Opera for Pagliacci/Cavalleria Rusticana (Tonio/Algio) in a revival of last season’s critically acclaimed new production by Ondrej Havelka. Additional season engagements include returns to Opera Orlando for Tosca (Scarpia), Opera Baltimore for Eugene Onegin in the title role and debuts with Fort Worth Opera La bohème (Marcello), and the Teatro Municipal de Santiago as Scarpia in Tosca. Future seasons include role and company debuts at Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Staatsoper Hannover and a return to the Prague State Opera.
Celebrated for his “richly shaded” (Operawire), “booming voice, and full range” (Houston Press), baritone Daniel Scofield is quickly garnering attention as a young Verdi baritone on the rise.

Countess – Stefania Dovhan
The Ukrainian-American soprano Stefania Dovhan was born in Kyiv, Ukraine. At an early age of 5, Dovhan began taking piano lessons, and sang in the Youth Choir at the Kyiv State Conservatory. Her formal vocal training started at the Baltimore School for the Arts. Miss Dovhan holds degrees from the University of Maryland College Park and the Augsburg Academy of Music in Germany.
Dovhan is a recipient of numerous performing arts scholarships and awards including the Richard F. Gold Career Grant, the Emmerich Smola Competition, the Alexander Girardi International Singing Competition, she was the finalist of the Operalia Competition, the Hans Gabor Belvedere International Singing Competition and the gold medalist in the Rosa Ponselle Competition. Her engagements include the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the New York City Opera, the Baltimore Lyric Opera, Portland Opera, Musica Viva Hong Kong, Theater Hagen, Badisches State Theater, Saarländisches State Theatre, Heidelberg Opera, Mainz Opera, Lviv National Opera, Danish National Opera, festivals of Spoleto, Heidenheim, Sibiu, Monschau, Mulhouse and covers at the Metropolitan Opera.
Her repertoire includes over 20 roles such as Floria Tosca, Mimi, Fiordiligi, Liu, Marguerite, Louise, Nedda, Martha in Weinberg’s “The Passenger” and a highly acclaimed portrayal of the title role in August Enna’s newly rediscovered opera “Kleopatra” with the Danish National Opera. Miss Dovhan appeared with the Nuremberg Symphony (Meistersinger Halle) in Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 “Kaddish”, in a gala concert at the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, in Ravel’s “Scheherazade” with the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, with the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra.
Dovhan has given solo recitals in Europe and the US including Lviv, Kyiv, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Salzburg and Augsburg. She performed at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, the Mozartsaal in Hamburg and the Goldener Saal in Augsburg. Dovhan collaborated with world renowned conductors such as Emmanuel Villaume, George Manahan, Gary Thor Wedow and Marcus Bosch. She is also on the faculty of the Berlin and Saluzzo Opera Academies.

Cherubino – Abi Levis

Named “Debut Artist of the Year” by the Joy in Singing Foundation, Mezzo-Soprano Abi Levis is quickly being recognized as an exciting singer of immense talent, with critics around the world describing her artistry as “fearless”, “dazzling”, “impressive”, and “breathtaking”. In the 2022-2023 season, Ms. Levis sang the roles of the Officer’s Wife/Martha in The Secret Garden with Hawaii Opera Theater, joined the Portland Baroque Orchestra for Handel’s Messiah and returned to Promfest Estonia as Prince Charmant in Cendrillon. During the 2023-2024 season, Ms. Levis will join LA Opera to cover Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia and sing Frida Image #1 in El ultimo sueño de Frida y Diego. Additionally, she makes her concert debut with the Brooklyn Art Song Society to perform Britten’s Cabaret Songs.
In 2021-2022, Ms. Levis appeared as Annio in La clemenza di Tito with Angers Nantes Opéra, debuted as Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos with the Lakes Area Music Festival, and reprised her signature role of Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with Intermountain Opera Bozeman. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Levis saw the cancellation of major debuts with San Francisco Opera, Fort Worth Opera, and The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Overseas, Ms. Levis has joined Deutsche Oper Berlin in roles such as Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Siébel in Faust, Mercédès in Carmen and Dido in Dido and Aeneas. She has also performed with the Luzerner Theater as Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice. Other recent operatic highlights include Cherubino (Florentine Opera, Charlottesville Opera, Utah Opera); Romeo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Promfest Estonia, Opera Sofia, Kaunas State Opera); Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus (Utah Opera), Rose and Dina in a double bill of At the Statue of Venus and Trouble in Tahiti (Opera Parallèle); Testo/Memory 3 in War Stories (Opera Philadelphia) and Flora in La traviata (Dallas Opera).
On the concert platform, Ms. Levis has appeared as a soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Handel and Haydn Society, Cincinnati Symphony, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Flint Symphony, Symphonie Atlantique, American Symphony Orchestra, Ars Lyrica Houston and Utah Symphony. She is a core member of the acclaimed Mirror Visions Ensemble, a gifted collective of artists who are passionate about storytelling through the art of song.
Ms. Levis excels in a variety of musical styles from baroque to contemporary music, from opera to musical theater. Passionate about new music, she has worked closely with composers such as John Harbison, John Musto, Brian Suits, Tamzin Elliot, Juliana Hall, and Michael Hirsch.
A veteran in the competition circuit, Ms. Levis has won prizes from the Gerda Lissner Competitions (Song and Opera), Sullivan Foundation, Vero Beach Opera Competition, McCammon Competition, James Toland Vocal Arts Competition, Lyndon Woodside Oratorio Competition and the Joy in Singing Competition, among others. She was also named a finalist in the Wilhelm Stenhammar Competition, Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition and Cesti Baroque Competition, and a semi-finalist in the George London Competition, Opera Index Competition, Loren L. Zachary Competition and Operalia.
As a Young Artist, she performed with Los Angeles Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Utah Opera/Utah Symphony, The Britten-Pears Young Artist Program, and Songfest. Ms. Levis holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, and Bard College.

Marcellina – Marianne Cornetti
is internationally recognized as one of the leading Verdi mezzo-sopranos of her generation. She has appeared as Amneris in Aida, Azucena in Il Trovatore, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, and Princess Eboli in Don Carlos at prestigious opera houses across the world, garnering rave reviews and winning the hearts of audiences globally. Opera Magazine claims, “If her timbre did not sear itself into the memory, her vocal command of this redoubtable role was complete” and Seen and Heard International raves, “[Her] voice is a miracle of power and flexibility from top to bottom. It is the emotion which she imparts into her singing, however, that makes her Azucena so memorable… Cornetti imbues each [role] with an emotional force all its own… The cheers and applause that rained down upon her at the end were well deserved.”
Acclaimed performances of iconic leading Verdi roles include engagements as Azucena in Il Trovatore at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Metropolitan Opera, Arena di Verona, Bregenz Festival, Teatro Comunale in Florence, National Theatre of China in Beijing, Teatro Muncipal in Sao Paulo, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Bavarian State Opera in Munich, La Coruña in Spain, Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, Teatro Regio in Parma, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and in the Teatro Comunale di Bologna’s tour in Japan, and as Amneris in Aida at the Teatro alla Scala, Hamburg State Opera, Vienna State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, New National Theatre Foundation in Tokyo, Theatre Royale de La Monnaie in Brussels, Israeli Opera at Masada, Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Auditorio de Tenerife, and Choregies D’Orange.
Engagements in the 2017-2018 season include performances as Princess de Bouillon in Adriana Lecouvreur at the Teatro Massimo of Palermo; Gianni Schicchi and L’enfant e les Sortiléges with the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Opera Project in Kyoto, Tokyo, and Nagoya, Japan; Un Ballo in Maschera with the Bolshoi Theatre; and a chamber concert at the UK’s North Norfolk Music Festival with violist Simon Rowland-Jones and pianist Gary Matthewman in songs by Brahms, Schumann, and Copland.

Don Bartolo – Kevin Glavin
Kevin Glavin world renowned and critically acclaimed bass-baritone specializing in Italian Opera for over forty years. Highlights include performances with Luciano Pavarotti, Marvin Hamlisch, and most of the major international opera stars, directors, and conductors of the world. Countries including Canada, China, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Costa Rica, Italy, Spain, France and most states in the USA. Career highlights are performing “live from Lincoln and Kennedy Centers” shown worldwide. The majority of his career focused on the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Pittsburg Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Miami Opera. Known for his vocal and acting skills he is praised by audiences and critics around the world.

Don Basilio- Julius Ahn
The award-winning, internationally acclaimed tenor’s 2022-2023 Season is highlighted by company and role débuts, as well as, an operatic reprisal of a lead role for which he won an award for his performances as the Principal Actor in a Musical.
Ahn opens his 2022-2023 Season via a company début with The Dallas Opera, as Borsa in RIGOLETTO by Verdi. Thereafter, he makes his return to The Atlanta Opera as Goro in MADAMA BUTTERFLY by Puccini; travels to New York City to reprise his role as Kaspar in On Site Opera’s highly acclaimed production of AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS by Menotti; returns to Nashville Opera to reprise the lead role of Guang in a STUCK ELEVATOR by Au Yong; makes his company début with New Orleans Opera as Goro in MADAMA BUTTERFLY; makes his Wagnerian role début as Mime in DAS RHEINGOLD; joins San Francisco Opera’s Centennial Anniversary Season as Goro in MADAMA BUTTERFLY; and, returns to Cincinnati Opera, also as Goro.
Especially renown for his “well-acted, well-sung” portrayals of a wide range of roles, Ahn has performed with leading companies throughout the U.S., including: The Metropolitan Opera; San Francisco Opera; Michigan Opera Theatre; Opera Philadelphia; The Atlanta Opera; Boston Lyric Opera; Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Cincinnati Opera; The Dallas Opera; Hawaii Opera Theatre; Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Nashville Opera; Opera Carolina; Opera Omaha; Pacific Symphony; Palm Beach Opera; Pittsburgh Opera; Seattle Opera; Tulsa Opera; Virginia Opera; and, Washington Concert Opera. International engagements include performances with Canadian Opera Company; Vancouver Opera; Raymond Gubbay at Royal Albert Hall; and, Korea National Opera.

Barbarina – Maia Jillian Weiss
is an undergraduate opera performance major at Bard College originally from the Hudson Valley area. She has previously performed in several opera productions such as Otello, Carmen, Zaza, and La Boheme. She has also performed in principal roles in many musical theater productions such as Kiss Me Kate, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, She Loves Me, Fiddler on the Roof, The Fantasticks, and Into the Woods. Maia has also performed at world class venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Fisher Center, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, and the Bearsville Theater. Recent performances include the world-class debut of the contemporary opera: The Strangers (winner of the 2023 Pellicciotti Composer Competition), Giannetta in L’Elisir D’Amore with the New York Opera Conservatory, and Adele in Die Fledermaus with the Bard College Conservatory. Recent competitions include her involvement in the Classical Singer Competition in San Francisco.

Stefan Szkafarowsky bass opera singer headshot

Antonio – Stefan Szkafarowsky
is known for his beautiful voice and his impeccable vocal technique. In 2022 -2023 season In the opera Tosca the role of the Sacristan was sung by Stefan with the Lyric Opera of Connecticut and later portrayed the same role with Opera Orlando in Florida
In the season of 2021 -2022 Stefan covered the role of Dr.Bartolo from the Marriage of Figaro and The Old Prisoner from Lady McBeth of MtSenk During the 2020 – 2021 season Stefan performed with the Lyric Opera of Connecticut in their production of La Boheme singing the roles of Benoit/Alcindoro and repeated the roles with them at the Music Festival in Greve Italy.
In 2018 – 19 season Stefan returned to the Metropolitan Opera to portray the role of “ Monterone “ in the opera Rigoletto.
Stefan has sung at the Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, Virginia Opera, Seattle Opera, Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Palm Beach Opera, Colorado Opera, Florida Grand Opera, San Paulo Opera in Brazil, Teatro Lirico in Cagliari, Italy, Savonlinna Music Festival in Finland, Lviv Opera in Ukraine, just to name a few. Stefan has traveled through the Far East on a concert tour.

Roles that Stefan has performed are: Ramfis, The King in Aida, Banquo, Alvize, Zacarria, King Phillip, The Inquisitor, Dr. Bartolo, Basilio, Prince Gremin, Varlaam, Pimen, Sarastro, Monterone, Sparafucile, Truelove, Ferrando, the Old Hebrew, Benoit /Alcindoro, Sacrastin, Dikoj, Vodnik, Raimondo, High Priest of Baal and Aleko.

Great conductors Stefan has worked with are: Leonard Slatkin, Bruno Bartoletti, Placido Domingo, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, Anton Coppola, Nicola Rescigno, Marco Armiliato.
Symphonies that Stefan has performed with are the National Symphony in Washington DC, Hartford Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Denver Symphony, and many more great symphonies.


June 29
8:30 pm - 10:45 pm
$5.00 – $290.00


Hudson Valley International Festival of the Voice
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Hudson Valley International Festival of the Voice
249 Libertyville Rd, Ulster County Fairgrounds
New Paltz, NY 12561 United States
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