The Marriage of Figaro review: setting high standards for Irish opera

” Under his guidance the Irish Chamber Orchestra in the pit becomes a character in its own right, not just driving and supporting the drama, but effectively commenting on it, too.   Whelan doesn’t just glory in Mozart’s gorgeous writing for wind instruments. He shapes and frames phrases in ways that seem entirely fresh, sometimes generating a growl or a mutter, sometimes acting like a powerful spur to energise the action on the stage.   “