THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO
Opera buffa in vier Akten | Text von Lorenzo da Ponte nach Beaumarchais’ Komödie »La folle journée ou Le mariage de Figaro« (1784) | In italienischer Sprache mit deutschen Übertiteln
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Opera in four acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
after Beaumarchais’ comedy La folle journée ou Le mariage de Figaro from 1783. | In Italian with German supertitles
The Marriage of Figaro
Opera in four acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte after Beaumarchais’ comedy La folle journée ou Le mariage de Figaro from 1783
Ius primae noctis — the feudal right to bed a female servant on her wedding night — is one privilege Count Almaviva would rather not go without. He’s rather taken with his wife’s chambermaid, Susanna, and would happily take advantage of this noble privilege with her...if only he hadn’t done away with it. And in light of Susanna’s engagement to Figaro, his valet, the Count is all the more anxious to revoke his revocation. He uses all the means at his disposal to delay the nuptials, while Susanna and Figaro use all of their tricks to make sure it takes place. Disguises, nocturnal rendezvous, leaps from balconies and feigned departures all drive the story forward, as the characters both knowingly and unknowingly deceive one another. W. A. Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro was composed between autumn 1785 and spring 1786, and was based on Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais’ critical comedy The Mad Day, or the Marriage of Figaro, written on the eve of the French Revolution. The play was designed as a critique of the “vices, abuses, and caprice hidden behind the veneer of ruling conventions of the day.” Lorenzo da Ponte ingeniously reworked the text into a libretto, and the opera was premiered on May 1, 1786 at the Viennese Court Opera in the Old Burgtheater. In more ways than one, it is a masterful work of art, rife with revolutionary undertones: not only does Mozart ridicule the aristocracy’s self-regard, he does it with a score whose psychological depths and ambiguity remain unmatched in music. Le nozze di Figaro stands today as a peerless masterpiece of comic opera.