The Marriage of Figaro

by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

At the San Diego Civic Theatre

Figaro, a barber, matchmaker, and good natured schemer, has fallen in love. On the eve of his marriage to Susanna, his master Count Almaviva, sets his wandering eye on the bride-to-be. Servant and master engage in a battle of the wits as this opera covers a single day of mad capped adventure.

What is considered a “perfect” opera? Many look to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro as the answer - a comic opera about a lecherous count who gets his comeuppance from his scheming servants. With some of the most recognizable music ever written for the opera stage, Mozart and his librettist Da Ponte, explore the rise of the servant class as they overthrow the ruling class with humor, wit, and biting satire. From the opening notes to the final curtain, Mozart’s score delivers a tangled love story that has delighted audiences for generations.


Sung in Italian with projected English translations.

The approximate run time is three hours and fifteen minutes, including one intermission.

PODCASTS

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Marriage of Figaro: Interview with David Bennett

In this conversation with David Bennett, General Director of San Diego Opera, you'll hear all about the singers, the director, the conductor and this wonderful new production of Mozart's masterpiece. Figaro is both a drama and a comedy with some of the most beautiful and engaging music ever written for the stage. Enjoy!


THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO

ACT I
Figaro and Susanna, servants of Count Almaviva, are preparing to celebrate their wedding which is to be held later that day. Susanna, however, is concerned that the Count has been making advances toward her. She believes that their new bedroom is too close to the Count’s, allowing the Count to visit Susanna easily when Figaro is attending to their master’s needs. This shakes Figaro’s confidence, but he leaves determined to confront the Count.

As Figaro leaves, Marcellina, a housekeeper, arrives with Dr. Bartolo, her legal counselor. Marcellina is furious with Figaro, as he had promised to marry her if he could not repay his loan. Bartolo, meanwhile, has his own score to settle, as Figaro long ago had thwarted his plan to marry the Countess. Susanna scolds Marcellina, who leaves shamed.

Cherubino, a young pageboy, enters and confesses to Susanna that he is in love with the Countess. At that very moment Susanna hears the Count coming and hides Cherubino. The Count enters and confesses his love for Susanna, requesting that they be alone. Before Susanna can answer, footsteps are heard outside the door, forcing the Count to hide. Don Basilio enters Susanna’s room to speak with her about Cherubino’s desire for both Susanna and the Countess. Hearing this, the Count becomes enraged and reveals himself and Cherubino in the process.

ACT II
The Countess and Susanna are in the Countess’ chambers. The Countess is distraught over the Count’s suspected infidelity and prays for his affections to be restored. Susanna tells her of the scheme to catch the Count – Cherubino will dress as a girl and attempt to seduce him. As Susanna is dressing Cherubino, he tells the Countess that he loves her, and eventually wears her down. Just as he is about to win her over, the Count knocks on the chamber door, claiming an anonymous letter informed him of his wife’s affair with Cherubino.

The Countess hastily shoves Cherubino into the closet to hide him from the Count. The Count begins questioning the Countess about who may be in her room. As he interrogates her, a voice calls out from the closet. The Countess tells him it is Susanna. Susanna, meanwhile, has secretly entered the room and is eavesdropping on the conversation. The Count leaves with the Countess to find tools to open the closet door. Susanna opens the door, removes Cherubino, sends him out through the window, and takes his place in the closet.

The Count and Countess return to the chamber. The Countess, sure she will be caught, confesses that it is actually Cherubino in the closet. The Count vows to kill Cherubino, but is shocked to discover that it is in fact Susanna in the closet. Thinking quickly, the Countess tells the Count that it was a practical joke designed to test his trust in her. Feeling ashamed, he begs for forgiveness, but still wonders about the anonymous letter. Susanna and the Countess claim it was written by Figaro, who enters at that moment. The Count interrogates him about the letter, but Figaro satisfactorily answers all of his questions. Just the Count’s suspicions begin to dissipate, the gardener Antonio enters. He is angry about his flower beds, which were destroyed by Cherubino when he climbed out of the window. Figaro claims it was he who jumped from the window, but Antonio shows a piece of paper that the man dropped. Figaro is unaware that the paper is actually the Count’s appointment of Cherubino to the army. The Count, suspicious, asks Figaro about the document. With help from Susanna and the Countess, he correctly answers the Count’s questions. At that moment Marcellina, Bartolo, and Basilio enter and accuse Figaro of not honoring his marriage contract with Marcellina. The Count, eager to dispatch Figaro, happily obliges their plea for a trial.

Intermission

ACT III
At his hearing, Figaro is ordered to honor the contract and marry Marcellina. Figaro claims he needs his parent’s permission to marry, but he does not know who they are. They eventually determine through the mention of a distinctive birthmark that Figaro is actually the long-lost son of Marcellina, and that Bartolo is his father. Figaro embraces Marcellina as Susanna enters. Seeing this sign of affection, she believes that Figaro has chosen Marcellina over her and slaps him. Marcellina explains that she is Figaro’s mother, and Susanna joins them in celebration before agreeing to a double wedding with Marcellina and Bartolo.

Before the wedding, Susanna and the Countess revisit the details of their plan to trap the Count and expose his infidelity, and the women draft a letter arranging an assignation for him with Susanna that evening. Susanna seals it with a pin and delivers it to the Count.

ACT IV
The Count asks Barbarina to return the pin to Susanna with a message accepting the rendezvous. Barbarina, however, loses the pin and Figaro finds her searching for it. When he learns of the message Barbarina is supposed to deliver with it, Figaro thinks he is being betrayed and vows revenge.

Figaro hides in the garden as Susanna and the Countess arrive for the assignation, dressed in each other’s clothes in order to deceive the Count. In the dark, the Count arrives and begins seducing the woman dressed as Susanna, who is actually the Countess. Figaro eventually discovers the women’s trickery, and ardently declares his love for Susanna, who is still dressed as the Countess. Witnessing this, the Count becomes enraged and tries to expose his wife’s infidelity with Figaro, only to then realize the true identities of the two women. The Count begs the Countess for forgiveness, and is mercifully pardoned by his loving wife. All assembled express their joy at the outcome.

Join us for the most exciting night of the season – the opening night of The Marriage of Figaro! Your evening includes complimentary Valet Service at the Civic Center Plaza; an elegant pre-opera reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine & champagne bar with cocktail entertainment; a private lounge for intermission; and an exclusive post-opera dinner with the cast of The Marriage of Figaro.

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