Home > The Marriage of Figaro
Mozart, W. A. (1756-1791)
First performed May 1, 1786.
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte (in Itarian),
|A Summary of “The Marriage of Figaro”
In the 18th century, in Spain, this story takes place on the wedding day of Figaro and Susanna, Count Almaviva’s servants. Figaro is surprised to hear Susanna’s confession: she is being pursued by the Count. Figaro gets angry, and vows to foil the Count’s intentions.
Figaro plans his strategy. It is that Susanna will write to the Count agreeing to a rendevous, but they will send the adolescent page, Cherubino, dressed in women’s clothes. Figaro and Susanna get the Countess’s consent. When they are disguising Cherubino, the Count unexpectedly arrives. Unfortunately, Figaro’s plan failed.
Additionally, Marcellina, an elderly woman, appears there with her lawyer, Bartolo. They remind Figaro of the promise he made to marry Marcellina if he failed to pay back the loan she made to him. Figaro and Susanna’s plans to marry seem to be lost.
But a big new truth is revealed. That truth is that Figaro who was an abandoned baby, is the long-lost son of Bartolo and Marcellina. Figaro and his parents embraced each other. Then, Susanna joins them. Figaro and Susanna’s plans to marry go ahead without interruption. Further Bartolo and Marcellina also marry, resulting in a double wedding.
By the way, the Count... he continues to try seducing Susanna. The Countess is amazed at his foolishness. She decided that she would disguise herself as Susanna to meet him in the garden that night.
That same night, the Count goes to meet Susanna in the garden of his mansion. He makes a move on his wife who is dressed in Susanna’s clothes. The Countess can get evidence of his affair. Then, she reveals herself to him. The Count realizes that his lover is his wife, and is very surprised. However, the Countess forgives her husband who regrets what he had done.
|A Comment on “The Marriage of Figaro”
|This opera, “The Marriage of Figaro”, is frequently performed. This opera has a very complicated story, so it may be difficult for you to understand all of this opera. But, you will find many parts that will make you laugh whenever you watch this opera.
What I wrote in the summary above is only one part of the whole story.
If you understand the feeling of the various characters in this opera,
you can find different points of view through each of them. You can watch
this opera many times without being bored.
This opera was composed by W. A. Mozart. It is filled
with charms of Mozart’s music, for example, the famous overture, Figaro’s aria ‘No more
aria ‘You ladies who know what love is’, and other pieces. Almost all of them are rhythmical music, so the music
can relieve the stresses of daily life.
The most important scene is the finale of Act 2. This finale is a very
large scale, and a lot of people continuously come on the stage. The music
gradually speeds up, and changes key many times. You will be overcome by
There is a special character in this opera, the
adolescent page, Cherubino. He is a boy who aged about fifteen. But, Cherubino
is played by a female singer, Mezzo Soprano. In addition, Cherubino dresses in
women’s clothes in Act 2. It seems the audience and singer do not understand
whether he is a man or woman.
|Recommended Recordings and Videos
|[CD] Bohm; Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra, Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus;
Prey, Mathis, Fischer-Dieskau, Janowitz. (1968, Deutsche Grammophon)
|[CD] Jacobs; Concerto Koln, Collegium Vocale Gent; Gens, Keenlyside, Ciofi.
(2003, harmonia mundi)
|[DVD] Bohm; Ponnelle; Wiener Philharmoniker, Wiener Staatsopern Chor; Prey,
Janowitz, Popp, Weikl, Baltsa. (1980, NHK)
|[DVD] Harnoncourt; Guth; Wiener Philharmoniker, Wiener Staatsopern Chor;
D'Arcangelo, Netrebko, Skovhus, Roschmann, Schafer. (2006, Deutsche Grammophon)
|Gluck, C. W. (1714-1787)
- Orpheus and Eurydice
Mozart, W. A. (1756-1791)
- The Marriage of Figaro
- Don Giovanni
- Cosi fan tutte
- The Magic Flute
Beethoven, L. v. (1770-1827)
Weber, C. M. v. (1786-1826)
- The Magic Bullets
Rossini, G. (1792-1868)
- The Barber of Seville
Donizetti, G. (1797-1848)
- The Elixir of Love
Verdi, G. (1813-1901)
- Il trovatore
- La Traviata
- Un ballo in maschera
- Don Carlo
Wagner, R. (1813-1883)
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- Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg
- The Rhinegold
- Die Walkure
- Twilight of the Gods
Offenbach, J. (1819-1880)
- The Tales of Hoffmann
Strauss, J. (1825-1899)
- Die Fledermaus (The Bat)
Bizet, G. (1838-1875)
Tchaikovsky, P. J. (1840-1893)
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Massenet, J. (1842-1912)
Humperdinck, E. (1854-1921)
- Hansel and Gretel
Puccini, G. (1858-1924)
- La Boheme
- Madama Butterfly
Leoncavallo, R. (1858-1919)
Mascagni, P. (1863-1945)
- Cavalleria Rusticana
Debussy, C. (1862-1918)
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Strauss, R. (1864-1949)
- The Cavalier of the Rose
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