The Marriage of Figaro

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The Marriage of Figaro
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart drawing Doris Stock 1789.jpg
Portrait by Doris Stock, 1789
Genre Opera buffa in 4 acts
Native title Le nozze di Figaro
Librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte
Language Italian
Based on The Marriage of Figaro by Pierre Beaumarchais
Premiere Burgtheater
Vienna
1 May 1786

Le nozze di Figaro, ossia la folle giornata (The Marriage of Figaro, or The Day of Madness) is an opera buffa with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and an Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. The opera premiered at the Burgtheater, Vienna on 1 May 1786. It was well received.

The opera is based on the 1784 French play, La folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro by Pierre Beaumarchais. The play was very controversial in its day (and even banned briefly in France), but the play's questionable material was removed and Da Ponte's libretto passed the Viennese censors.

Cast[change | change source]

  • Count Almaviva
  • Countess Almaviva (soprano), the Count's wife
  • Figaro, Count Almaviva's servant and Susanna's betrothed
  • Susanna (soprano), the Countess' maid and Figaro's betrothed
  • Cherubino, a page boy

Story[change | change source]

The opera is set in the palace and gardens of Count Almaviva in Seville, Spain. Figaro, Count Almaviva's servant, is on the eve of marrying Susanna, the Countess' maid.

Almaviva has long lusted after Susanna. He plans to revive an old aristocratic right permitting a nobleman to deflower a peasant on her wedding night. Figaro is furious.

With Susanna and his friends, he thwarts the Count's intentions. Almaviva is forced to beg his wife's forgiveness.