With its humorous situations, tangle of love interests, and recognizably-flawed characters, Domenico Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto (The Secret Marriage) is an emblematic example of eighteenth-century opera buffa. A feel-good production of its day, Il Matrimonio Segreto was the type of work that had those in an audience laughing as much at themselves as the cast members before them. In other words, relatability was one of its hallmarks.
It may seem like a given, then, that an effective performance of such an opera would depend upon having real people play the parts. But, according to Italian conductor Marco Seco, skillfully-operated marionettes can also create a convincing atmosphere, stealing the show as the singers remain offstage.
In this interview that aired Monday, May 28th, S.C. Public Radio’s Bradley Fuller speaks with Marco about his North American debut at Spoleto Festival USA as conductor of a not-so-ordinary staging of Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto. Three performances of the opera will be given through May 30th at the Emmett Robinson Theatre at the College of Charleston.