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Le nozze di Figaro

on November 06, 2023
This is the page for the performance on November 06, 2023.
If you would like to attend a performance of this production, you will find further dates below.
Music Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Text Lorenzo Da Ponte
→ Comedia per musica in vier Akten

Future dates

07. May 2024
Tuesday
1 intermission
Pre-order tickets
10. May 2024
Friday
1 intermission
Pre-order tickets
15. May 2024
Wednesday
1 intermission
Pre-order tickets
18. May 2024
Saturday
1 intermission
Pre-order tickets

Cast 06.11.2023

Conductor Adam Fischer
Production Barrie Kosky
Stage Design Rufus Didwiszus
Costume Design Victoria Behr
Lighting Design Franck Evin
Assistant set designer Jan Freese
Graf Almaviva Michael Nagy
Gräfin Almaviva Golda Schultz
Susanna Katharina Konradi
Figaro Riccardo Fassi
Cherubino Patricia Nolz
Marcellina Stephanie Houtzeel
Basilio Norbert Ernst
Don Curzio Andrea Giovannini
Bartolo Stefan Cerny
Antonio Attila Mokus
Barbarina Miriam Kutrowatz

Details

Short summary: It was supposed to be the most beautiful day for Susanna and Figaro: Their wedding day. But the Count Almaviva is stalking the bride, Don Basilio pesters Susanna with his intercession for the Count, Marcellina wants to sue for the old marriage contract with Figaro and Doctor Bartolo supports her, also out of old anger against Figaro. And then there is the page Cherubino who is in love with all the women and whom all the women want to have around them, preferably disguised as a girl ... Only with the combined forces of Figaro's imagination, Susanna's cleverness and the support of the deceived Countess can this »great day« be brought to a happy end.

Music: In Lorenzo Da Ponte, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had finally found the long-sought poet who »understands the theatre«. The delight in Da Ponte's wonderful theatrical poetry has entered into every note of Mozart's music; magnificently composed ensembles such as the sextet in Act III virtually challenge the singers' joy in performing. But also the arias Mozart writes, for example for the character of Countess Almaviva, are not only incomparable pieces of music, but also quiet moments of musical dramaturgy, in which the plot does not simply stand still, but rather seems to breathe calmly.

Direction: In director Barrie Kosky's fast-paced production, Susanna and Figaro have to fight their way from the narrow space in between that the Count has assigned them through the splendid rooms of the Almaviva Palace before the outside space finally opens up as a perspective in Act IV. Barrie Kosky: »We know from Shakespeare that a garden or a forest - especially in the evening - is a democratic space. Anything is possible there.«

Program booklet (2,50€)


BACKGROUND INFORMATION

It was probably a risk that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte took right from their first collaboration, but in any case a completely unusual approach in the Vienna of the later 18th century: To begin a new opera project without having been commissioned for it beforehand, without any assured prospect of a performance or even remuneration. In Mozart's case, the situation was aggravated by the fact that, although he had an excellent reputation as an instrumental composer at the relevant authorities - not least at the imperial court - he was considered to have little experience in the field of theater. In addition, the composer's choice of subject matter, Beaumarchais's comedy Le Mariage de Figaro, cast additional doubt on the realization of the planned opera on a public stage - Joseph II had shortly before forbidden the performance of the play, which was charged with revolutionary dynamite, on the grounds that »the play contains much that is offensive«. With a great deal of diplomatic skill and the indication that he had not created a pure translation of the French original, but a new version of the material purified of all questionable content, Da Ponte succeeded, however, in dispelling the emperor's reservations, even convincing him of the project and finally persuading him to personally order the premiere of Le nozze di Figaro at the Hofburg Theater on May 1, 1786.

SYNOPSIS

Act 1

The morning of Susanna and Figaro’s wedding day. Figaro is measuring the room that Count Almaviva has set aside for Susanna and him. Susanna is not happy with the room, which is situated between the private chambers of the Count and Countess. She explains to Figaro that the Count is regretting abolishing the droit de seigneur, the right of the lord of the manor to spend the first night with every new bride. Now, the Count is making advances to her. He chose the room to be close to Susanna. Figaro swears to frustrate the Count’s plans.

Marcellina wants to press old claims against Figaro. She lent him money earlier. If he can’t repay, he has to marry her, according to the contract. Doctor Bartolo supports his housekeeper Marcellina, to be revenged upon Figaro. Bar- tolo once wanted to marry the new Countess himself, before the Count cut him out – with Figaro’s help.

The page, Cherubino, asks Susanna for help. The Count had caught him in the room of Susanna’s cousin Barbarina the previous evening. Now, the Count wants to dismiss him. He asks Susanna to ask the Countess to put in a good word for Cherubino. When the Count enters, Cherubino hides. From his hiding place he hears the Count pressuring Susanna. Don Basilio’s voice is heard, and now the Count has to hide, to avoid being caught in a compromising situation. He chooses Cherubino’s hiding place. The page manages to save himself, and Susanna covers him with a piece of cloth.

Don Basilio pleads the Count’s cause to Susanna. When he mentions that everyone in the castle has noticed Cherubino’s attraction to the Countess, the Count emerges from his hiding place, furious. Susanna and Basilio try to calm the Count. The Count, however, demonstrates how he caught Cherubino with Barbarina the previous evening. He lifts the cloth Cherubino is hiding under, and discovers him again.

Figaro brings in servants who thank the Count for his generosity in abolishing the droit de seigneur. Figaro asks the Count to put the white scarf on Susanna as a sign of chastity. The Count promises to hold the ceremony, but seeks to delay.

Cherubino asks the Count for pardon. The Count gives it, but makes Cheru- bino an officer in his regiment, which means that the page has to leave for Seville immediately.


Act 2

The Countess laments the loss of her husband’s love. Susanna elaborates about the Count’s attempts to seduce her.

Figaro plans a double intrigue. Basilio will bring the Count a letter accusing the Countess of having an affair. Susanna will arrange a rendezvous with the Count at the same time, and Cherubino will be sent to this dressed as a woman to deceive the Count.

Susanna and the Countess are in the process of disguising Cherubino when the Count knocks at the door. Cherubino is quickly hidden in a closet and the door is locked. Susanna hides as well. The Count, enraged by Figaro’s letter, thinks his wife is with her lover. A sound in the closet seems to confirm his suspicion, and he demands that she opens the door. The Countess claims that Susanna is trying on her wedding dress there, and refuses. The Count goes off to fetch tools to break down the door, and forces the Countess to go with him. He locks the door of the Countess’s room from outside. Susanna gets Cherubino out of the closet. The page escapes by jumping into the garden from the balcony. Susanna gets into the closet.

The Countess confesses to her husband that Cherubino was in the closet. The Count is enraged and accuses her of infidelity. Then Susanna comes out of the closet. The Count is amazed, the Countess explains that she was just testing him. Figaro had written the compromising letter.

Figaro announces the musicians for the wedding. The Count asks him about the letter. Figaro pretends ignorance.

The gardener Antonio, Barbarina’s father, comes in raging. Someone had jumped into the garden from the balcony and trampled on his carnations. He suspects Cherubino. Figaro claims that it was he who jumped. Antonio goes to give him the paper that Cherubino lost when he jumped. The Count seizes the paper. It is the page’s commission to the army. With the help of prompting by Susanna and the Countess, Figaro comes up with a plausible explanation. The commission is lacking the seal, which is why the page gave it to him.

Marcellina, Bartolo and Basilio demand that Figaro honour the contract with Marcellina. The Count promises to look into it.


Act 3

The Countess and Susanna are hatching their own plot. Susanna will ask the Count for a meeting, the Countess will go in her place. Figaro is not admitted into the plot.

The Count gives his verdict. Figaro must pay Marcellina the sum she demands or marry her. By accident, it emerges that Figaro is Marcellina’s son, who was believed lost. His father is Doctor Bartolo. Susanna comes in, and is introduced to the new family relationships. The planned wedding becomes a double wedding, as Marcellina and Bartolo decide to get married now.

Barbarina decides to disguise Cherubino as a girl. In this disguise, he is sup- posed to go with other girls to bring flowers to the Countess.

The Countess laments the fate that has brought her to such a wretched situation.

Antonio has found Cherubino’s hat and concludes that the page must still be in the castle.

The Countess and Susanna write an invitation to the Count. Susanna writes that she will meet him in the garden at night. The seal is a pin which he is supposed to send back as a sign that he accepts.

When Cherubino comes in with the girls to the Countess’s rooms, he is unmasked by Antonio. Barbarina reminds the raging Count that he has promised her anything in return for certain favours. Now, she wants Cherubino for her husband.

Susanna makes use of the ceremony in preparation for the double wedding to slip the Count the letter.


Act 4

Barbarina has lost the pin that the Count gave her for Susanna. She innocently tells Figaro of the Count’s commission. Figaro, who has not been let into the plot by the women, now suspects Susanna of infidelity. He pours out his sorrow to Mar- cellina. She believes in Susanna’s innocence and warns her of Figaro’s fury. Figaro has brought Bartolo and Basilio to witness Susanna’s infidelity in the garden.

Susanna and the Countess enter the garden, having exchanged clothes. Susanna knows about Figaro’s jealousy and sings a love song to provoke him, which the concealed Figaro interprets as aimed at the Count.

Cherubino comes in and sees the Countess clothed as Susanna. He wants to seize the opportunity to ask for a kiss from the woman he thinks is Susanna. While the Countess fends off Cherubino, the Count enters. Cherubino disappears, and the Count ardently woos his disguised wife, thinking she is Susanna. He hears voices, and ceases his attentions.

Figaro recognizes Susanna, who is disguised as the Countess, by her voice. He pretends he thinks she is the Countess and embraces her heartily, until she furiously slaps him. Figaro explains to Susanna, and the two reconcile.

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