Metropolitan Opera broadcasts continue on Classical 90.5 at 10:00 a.m. this Saturday, March 26, with a performance of Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The performance will run approximately three hours and forty-five minutes.
A profoundly humane comedy, Le Nozze di Figaro is a remarkable marriage of Mozart’s music at the height of his genius and one of the best librettos ever set. In adapting a play that caused a scandal with its revolutionary take on 18th-century society, librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte focused less on the original topical references and more on the timeless issues embedded in the frothy drawing-room comedy.
Figaro’s amazing score mirrors the complex world it depicts. The first impression is one of tremendous beauty and elegance. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find all the underlying pain and deception, with a constant tension between the social classes and the sexes, where each character has something to gain and something to hide.
Seville, the setting of Figaro and its prequel, The Barber of Seville, was famous in Mozart’s time as a place filled with hot-blooded young men and exotically beautiful women sequestered behind latticed windows, or “jalousies” (which gave us our English word “jealousy”). The city was the birthplace of the Don Juan legends, which Mozart and Da Ponte would mine for their subsequent masterpiece Don Giovanni. The current Met production of Le Nozze di Figaro places the action in the 1930s. Fabio Luisi conducts.