There are many other complications and characters, of course—situations and types worthy of screwball comedy, complete with disguises and surprises. Mozart, though, is a true democrat: Figaro may not have the same intricate music, maybe not even the fine words, but his emotions, his desires, and his love have no less value or importance than those of his suave, sophisticated master.
The marriage of Figaro and Susanna has the same moral and aesthetic merit as that of the Count and the Countess. As so often with Mozart, forgiveness is a key theme, and the Count's Act IV plea to his wife, 'Contessa, perdono', is one of opera's most moving moments.
Audience and press reviews of Mozart's great comic opera, directed by David McVicar. Marcellina is with them, having informed Susanna of Figaro's suspicions and plans.
After they discuss the plan, Marcellina and the Countess leave, and Susanna teases Figaro by singing a love song to her beloved within Figaro's hearing aria: "Deh vieni, non-tardar" — "Oh come, don't delay".
Figaro is hiding behind a bush and, thinking the song is for the Count, becomes increasingly jealous. The Countess arrives in Susanna's dress. Cherubino shows up and starts teasing "Susanna" really the Countess , endangering the plan. His punch actually ends up hitting Figaro, but the point is made and Cherubino runs off. The Count now begins making earnest love to "Susanna" really the Countess , and gives her a jeweled ring.
They go offstage together, where the Countess dodges him, hiding in the dark. Onstage, meanwhile, the real Susanna enters, wearing the Countess' clothes. Figaro mistakes her for the real Countess, and starts to tell her of the Count's intentions, but he suddenly recognizes his bride in disguise.
He plays along with the joke by pretending to be in love with "my lady", and inviting her to make love right then and there. Susanna, fooled, loses her temper and slaps him many times. Figaro finally lets on that he has recognized Susanna's voice, and they make peace, resolving to conclude the comedy together "Pace, pace, mio dolce tesoro" — "Peace, peace, my sweet treasure". The Count, unable to find "Susanna", enters frustrated.
Figaro gets his attention by loudly declaring his love for "the Countess" really Susanna. The enraged Count calls for his people and for weapons: his servant is seducing his wife. Ultima scena: "Gente, gente, all'armi, all'armi" — "Gentlemen, to arms! All beg him to forgive Figaro and the "Countess", but he loudly refuses, repeating "no" at the top of his voice, until finally the real Countess re-enters and reveals her true identity.
The Count, seeing the ring he had given her, realizes that the supposed Susanna he was trying to seduce was actually his wife. Ashamed and remorseful, he kneels and pleads for forgiveness himself "Contessa perdono! The Marriage of Figaro is scored for two flutes , two oboes , two clarinets , two bassoons , two horns , two trumpets , timpani , and strings ; the recitativi secchi are accompanied by a keyboard instrument , usually a fortepiano or a harpsichord , often joined by a cello.
The instrumentation of the recitativi secchi is not given in the score, so it is up to the conductor and the performers. A typical performance usually lasts around 3 hours. Two arias from act 4 are often omitted: one in which Marcellina regrets that people unlike animals abuse their mates " Il capro e la capretta " , and one in which Don Basilio tells how he saved himself from several dangers in his youth, by using the skin of an ass for shelter and camouflage " In quegli anni ".
Mozart wrote two replacement arias for Susanna when the role was taken over by Adriana Ferrarese in the revival. The replacement arias, "Un moto di gioia" replacing "Venite, inginocchiatevi" in act 2 and "Al desio di chi t'adora" replacing "Deh vieni, non tardar" in act 4 , in which the two clarinets are replaced with basset horns, are normally not used in modern performances.
A notable exception was a series of performances at the Metropolitan Opera in with Cecilia Bartoli as Susanna. Lorenzo Da Ponte wrote a preface to the first published version of the libretto, in which he boldly claimed that he and Mozart had created a new form of music drama:.
In spite Beaumarchais's] is woven, the vastness and grandeur of the same, the multiplicity of the musical numbers that had to be made in order not to leave the actors too long unemployed, to diminish the vexation and monotony of long recitatives , and to express with varied colours the various emotions that occur, but above all in our desire to offer as it were a new kind of spectacle to a public of so refined a taste and understanding.
Charles Rosen in The Classical Style proposes to take Da Ponte's words quite seriously, noting the "richness of the ensemble writing",  which carries forward the action in a far more dramatic way than recitatives would.
Rosen also suggests that the musical language of the classical style was adapted by Mozart to convey the drama: many sections of the opera musically resemble sonata form ; by movement through a sequence of keys, they build up and resolve musical tension, providing a natural musical reflection of the drama. As Rosen writes:. The synthesis of accelerating complexity and symmetrical resolution which was at the heart of Mozart's style enabled him to find a musical equivalent for the great stage works which were his dramatic models.
The Marriage of Figaro in Mozart's version is the dramatic equal, and in many respects the superior, of Beaumarchais's work.
This is demonstrated in the closing numbers of all four acts: as the drama escalates, Mozart eschews recitativi altogether and opts for increasingly sophisticated writing, bringing his characters on stage, revelling in a complex weave of solo and ensemble singing in multiple combinations, and climaxing in seven- and eight-voice tutti for acts 2 and 4. Mozart cleverly uses the sound of two horns playing together to represent cuckoldry , in the act 4 aria " Aprite un po' quegli occhi ".
Johannes Brahms said "In my opinion, each number in Figaro is a miracle; it is totally beyond me how anyone could create anything so perfect; nothing like it was ever done again, not even by Beethoven. Further, Mozart used it in in his Five Contredanses , K. In , Henry R. He also gets Cherubino out of the way by drafting him into his regiment. The Marriage of Figaro. Article Media. Info Print Print. Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback.
The Marriage of Figaro opera by Mozart. Believing the Count to be safely out hunting for the day, the Countess indulges her flirtatious affection for Cherubino, even allowing Susanna to leave them alone together in her bedroom. They are surprised by the Count's sudden arrival at the door and the Countess hides Cherubino in her dressing room. The Countess protests that it is only Susanna inside.
A furious row ensues, overheard by Susanna, who has crept back by the servant door. It ends in the Count dragging his wife out in search of an axe to break into the dressing room; but first he takes the precaution of securing all the other doors to the apartment.
Susanna lets Cherubino out and he jumps to safety from the balcony window. Susanna locks herself into the dressing room in his place. The Count and Countess return and she is forced to admit that it is Cherubino inside.
Convinced of his wife's guilt the Count is astonished to see Susanna innocently emerge from the room. The Countess quickly turns his confusion to her advantage but the arrival of Figaro soon upsets matters when the Count begins to quiz him about the provenance of Basilio's letter. Figaro claims that it was he and not, as Antonio insists, Cherubino who jumped: after all, the page has supposedly already joined his regiment in Seville.
Figaro even manages ingeniously to explain how Cherubino's commission came to be lying under the balcony. But even he is nonplussed by the arrival of Marcellina, supported by Bartolo and Basilio demanding Figaro's immediate trial for non-payment of his debt.
The Count is overjoyed. Susanna and the Countess have made a new plan between them to try to swing the Count in favour of Figaro and against Marcellina. Susanna appears to agree to his request for a rendezvous in the garden. In fact, it will be a disguised Countess who will keep the assignation and shame her wayward husband. Completely fooled, a delighted Count chides Susanna for playing with his affections. But as she slips away, she bumps into Figaro and their whispered conversation is overheard by the Count.
His suspicion is rekindled and he resolves to do all he can to prevent Figaro's wedding. Barbarina smuggles Cherubino into her father's house to disguise him as a peasant girl. The page is terrified of discovery by the Count. Gioachino Rossini Fans. The play, set to premiere in Australia this year, has a simple plot but a string of fantastic arias and ensemble pieces. Georges Bizet Fans. Written in , the show includes groovy Spanish tunes, such as the famous Toreador Song and flirty Habanera.
But beneath these catchy rhythms, the dark undercurrent of fate pulses. The play follows the story of Carmen, the femme fatale who teases death with every beat, and Don Jose, a soldier captivated by Carmen despite being engaged. The theme revolves around love, betrayal, outlaws and a crime of passion.
John Bell's production is a bold look on the wild love that promises freedom while binding the lovers in an unbreakable web of fate. La Boheme. Fans of Romantic Tales. The story focuses on Rodolfo, a poet, and Mimi, a grisette, as they sort through their emotions while still maintaining their Bohemian outlook to life.
Their raw emotions are too deep for words, and only music can truly express their feelings. Great Opera Hits. Lovers of Opera. The Great Opera Hits are relaxed concerts that take place in the afternoons as the sun sets across the Sydney Harbour, and last around 90 minutes.Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. , Act 1: "Non più andrai" Hermann Prey, Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin and Karl Böhm From the Album The Opera hits of: Mozart.