'Figaro' group's best effort yet

Opera in Williamsburg ventured into new territory with its presentation of "Marriage of Figaro," Friday in the Kimball Theater. Moving away from its established tradition of using a salon-styled ensemble on stage, OiW used a small orchestra of top notch, polished professional musicians. Positioned directly on the floor in front of the stage, the placement was perfect, musically allowing a fuller, more direct sound for the singers and a more blended one for the audience. It also freed up stage space normally taken up by past salon ensembles.

The venture was obviously successful, especially given the aria-filled score that provides some of Mozart's best-known musical...