Last night, Opera Australia marked Mozart’s 266th birthday with the opening night of The Marriage of Figaro, and it would be hard to imagine a better celebration of the composer’s genius.

The Marriage of Figaro

David McVicar’s production of The Marriage of Figaro, Opera Australia, 2019. Photo © Prudence Upton

A revival of David McVicar’s 2015 production, it has lost none of its sparkle in Andy Morton’s restaging. Jenny Tiramami’s scenery is among the most beautiful to have graced the stage of the Dame Joan Sutherland Theatre. It is a layered affair that reveals itself in an Epicurean display of nature overcoming reason as we regress through the Count’s palace and its book-lined walls into the garden beyond.

The intricacy of Tiramami’s 17th century costume designs is also staggering to behold, right down to the historically accurate undergarments. The wondrous effect is completed by David Finn’s lighting design, which bathes the stage in an exquisite chiaroscuro and transforms it into a living, breathing Vermeer painting. This is never more apparent than in the entrances by the Countess, sung here magnificently by...