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Le Nozze Di Figaro
Act 1 Scene I
Act 1 Scene II
Act 1 Scene III
Act 1 Scene IV
Act 1 Scene V
Act 1 Scene VI
Act 1 Scene VII
Act 1 Scene VIII
Act 2 Scene I
Act 2 Scene II
Act 2 Scene III
Act 2 Scene IV
Act 2 Scene V
Act 2 Scene VI
Act 2 Scene VII
Act 2 Scene VIII
Act 2 Scene IX
Act 2 Scene X
Act 2 Scene XI
Act 3 Scene I
Act 3 Scene II
Act 3 Scene III
Act 3 Scene IV
Act 3 Scene V
Act 3 Scene VI
Act 3 Scene VII
Act 3 Scene VIII
Act 3 Scene IX
Act 3 Scene X
Act 3 Scene XI
Act 3 Scene XII
Act 3 Scene XIII
Act 3 Scene XIV
Act 4 Scene I
Act 4 Scene II
Act 4 Scene III
Act 4 Scene IV
Act 4 Scene V
Act 4 Scene VI
Act 4 Scene VII
Act 4 Scene VIII
Act 4 Scene IX
Act 4 Scene X
Act 4 Scene XI
Act 4 Scene XII
Act 4 Scene XIII
Act 4 Scene XIV
Nozze di Figaro, Le (The Marriage of Figaro)
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Opera buffa in four acts. 1786.
  • Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, after the play La folle journée, ou Le mariage de Figaro (The Mad Day, or The Marriage of Figaro) by Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais.
  • First performance at the Burgtheater, Vienna, on 1st May 1786.
Count Almaviva baritone
Countess Almaviva soprano
Susanna, her maid, betrothed to Figaro soprano
Figaro, valet to the Count bass
Cherubino, the Count's page mezzo-soprano
Bartolo, a doctor from Seville bass
Marcellina, his housekeeper soprano
Don Basilio, a music-master tenor
Don Curzio, a magistrate tenor
Antonio, a gardener, Susanna's uncle bass
Barbarina, his daughter soprano

Figaro and Susanna are to marry, but the Count has given them rooms near to his own, which will be convenient if he needs access to Susanna. Bartolo wants to take revenge on Figaro, who had helped the Count to marry his ward Rosina, now the Countess. His housekeeper Marcellina has lent money to Figaro, who has promised to marry her, if he cannot repay it. Cherubino tells Susanna that he loves all women, and Susanna hides him, as the Count is heard approaching. His proposals to Susanna are interrupted by the sound of Don Basilio coming near, and he too hides behind the chair, allowing Cherubino to hide himself sitting on it, under a dress thrown over him by Susanna. Basilio now refers to Cherubino's love for the Countess, and the Count emerges to find out more. Susanna tries to distract them by fainting, but Cherubino is discovered. Figaro brings in a group of peasants, singing praise of the Count, who has surrendered, it is suggested, his droit de seigneur as far as Susanna is concerned, but the Count delays their marriage and packs Cherubino off to the army. Figaro, however, detains Cherubino, since he has plans for him. In the second act the Countess, in her room, is sad, neglected by her husband. She listens to Figaro's plan to dress Cherubino as a girl and put him in Susanna's place in an attempt to trap the Count. Cherubino is singing of his love for the Countess, when the Count returns from hunting, eager to pursue matters divulged to him in an anonymous letter accusing the Countess. Cherubino hides in the closet and Susanna, unseen by the others, comes in. The Countess tells her husband that Susanna is in the closet but the door cannot be opened. The Count, suspicious, goes to fetch tools to open the door, taking the Countess with him. This allows Cherubino to jump out of the window and Susanna to take his place. The Count returns and the closet is opened, revealing Susanna. Antonio, the gardener, adds complications when he comes in to complain of someone jumping out of the window, and Figaro now claims that it was him. The act ends with the appearance of Don Basilio, Bartolo and Marcellina, seeking justice. As the wedding is prepared, in the third act, Susanna, at the suggestion of the Countess, agrees to an assignation with the Count. Marcellina's complaint against Figaro is heard and he claims that he needs parental consent for his marriage to her, if it is to take place. It then transpires that Marcellina is in fact his mother and Bartolo his father. In the fourth act, in the garden at night, Figaro is given cause for jealousy of Susanna, but she is now disguised as the Countess and the Countess as Susanna. The Count unknowingly woos his own wife, while Figaro deliberately provokes his jealousy by his own approaches to the supposed Countess, in fact Susanna. The opera ends with the Count humbled but penitent, reconciled now with his wife, Figaro with Susanna, Cherubino with Barbarina and Marcellina with Bartolo.

The complexities and symmetries of situation in Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) make up one of the most perfect of Mozart's operas, with a score that offers music of great variety, admirably suited to each situation and character. There is a brilliantly devised overture, followed by the scene in which Figaro measures the room that is to be his and Susanna's. Resolving to get the better of the Count, Figaro sings his well known Se vuol ballare, signor contino (If you want to dance, little master count). Revenge of another kind is envisaged by Bartolo in his patter-song La vendetta (Vengeance). Cherubino opens his heart to Susanna in Non sò piï cosa son, cosa faccio (I no longer know who I am or what I am doing), and when Cherubino is duly banished with an army commission, Figaro mocks him with Non piï andrai farfallone amoroso (You are no longer an amorous butterfly). There is great poignancy in the Countess's second act aria Porgi amor (Love, grant me comfort), to which perhaps Cherubino's adolescent Voi che sapete (You who know what love is) might provide consolation. The opera continues with a wealth of musical invention and apt dramatic sense, shown to perfection in the comic finales, those final ensembles which offer either a problem to be solved or, in the end, a final reconciliation.


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