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The Marriage of Figaro


Photos of the performance in our photo gallery

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO

A comic opera in four acts

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)

Libretto by L. da Ponte based on Pierre Beaumarchais’s comedy “The Wild Day, or the Marriage of Figaro”.

The Opera Plot

Setting: Count Almaviva’s castle near Seville (Spain).
Time: the end of the 18th century.

At Count Almaviva’s house, joyful wedding preparations are in full swing. The Count’s valet Figaro is marrying Suzanne, the Countess’s chambermaid. The Count is upset by the forthcoming celebration. He has taken a fancy to the fiancée himself and he is determined to go to any lengths to prevent the wedding. Suzanne anxiously tells her fiancé about the Count’s courting. Figaro is eager to apply all his craftiness, resourcefulness and energy in order to foil his master’s plans. However, merry Figaro has quite a lot of enemies. Old Bartholo is still bearing a grudge against the ex-barber who twisted him around his little finger when he helped the Count to marry Bartholo’s ward Rosine. The ageing housekeeper Marceline dreams of making Figaro marry her. Both hope that the Count, frustrated by Suzanne’s resistance, will help them. Marceline meets Suzanne with affected bows and spiteful compliments. Suzanne makes fun of the old shrew in a joyful and cheerful way. There appears Cherubin. The young page is in love with every woman in the castle. He worships the Countess, yet he wouldn’t mind flirting with Suzanne to whom he has just come to share his grief – the Count caught him with Barbarine, a gardener’s daughter, and turned him out of the castle. The Count’s unexpected arrival forces Cherubin to hide. Again, the Count begs Suzanne to yield to his love, but the enamoured grandee’s outpouring is suddenly broken off by a knock on the door – there has come the intrigant Bazile. The old gossip’s hints at Cherubin’s love towards the Countess arouse the Count’s jealousy. Full of indignation, he tells Suzanne and Bazile about the page’s trickery and, all of a sudden, catches sight of Cherubin hiding. There is no limit to the Count’s rage. Cherubin is instantly ordered to join a regiment. Figaro consoles him.

The Countess is upset by her husband’s indifference. Suzanne’s story about his adultery makes her sick at heart. Feeling sincere sympathy for her chambermaid and her fiancé, the Countess willingly accepts Figaro’s plan to call the Count to the garden at night and send him, instead of Suzanne, Cherubin disguised as a woman. Suzanne immediately sets about dressing the page. The Count’s sudden appearance perturbs everyone. Cherubin is hidden in the next room. Surprised at his wife’s bewilderment, the Count demands that she unlock the door. The Countess refuses resolutely, assuring him that it is Suzanna who is in there. The Count’s jealous suspicions grow stronger. Having made up his mind to force the door open, he takes his wife with him to fetch the tools. Wily Suzanne releases Cherubin from his refuge. But where should he run? All the doors are locked. Full of fear, the wretched page jumps out of the window. The Count returns, and behind the locked door he finds Suzanne laughing at his suspicions. He has to apologize to his wife. There appears Figaro rushing into the room and informs everybody that the guests have already gathered. But the Count tries his best to delay the beginning of the celebration – he is waiting for Marceline to come. The housekeeper makes a claim against Figaro. He is obliged either to pay off his old debt or to marry her. Figaro and Suzanne’s wedding is postponed.

The court of law has resolved the matter in favour of Marceline. The Count is triumphant, yet his triumph is transient. It suddenly appears that Figaro is Marceline and Bartholo’s son who was kidnapped by brigands in his early childhood. Figaro’s parents are touched and decide to get married. Now there are two weddings to be celebrated.

The Countess and Suzanne don’t give up the idea of teaching the Count a good lesson. The Countess decides to put a chambermaid’s dress herself and go out on a night date. Suzanne takes her dictation to write a note inviting the Count to meet her in the garden. Barbarine is to pass it during the celebration.

Figaro is laughing at his master, but, having heard from simple-minded Barbarine that the note was written by Suzanne, begins to suspect his fiancée of deception. In the darkness of the night garden he recognizes disguised Suzanne but pretends that he has taken her for the Countess. The Count doesn’t recognize his wife disguised as a chambermaid and leads her to an arbour. However, having seen Figaro make a declaration of love to the pseudo-countess, he makes a fuss and calls people so as to publicly expose his wife’s unfaithfulness. He rejects all her apologies. Instantly, the real Countess appears without the mask. The Count is ashamed and begs his wife’s pardon.

The premiere of the performance took place on 12, 13, 14 August 2008 at Yeisk Municipal Culture Centre. The premiere of the performance in Moscow took place on 8, 9 March 2009 at “The Palace on the Yauza”.

Production Group

Production director – Mikhail Kislyarov

Production conductor – Alexander Zhilenkov

Production designer – Oleg Skudar

Projection designer – Anna Koleychuk

Costume designer – Olga Oshkalo

Light designer – Vladimir Ivakin

Orchestra director – Valentina Novikova

Characters and Cast:

Count Almaviva – Sergey Moskalkov

Countess Rosina, his wife – Mariya Lobasheva, Tatyana Vetrova

Figaro, the Count’s servant – Honoured Artist of Russia

German Yukavsky, Roman Shevchuk

Suzanne, the Countess’s chambermaid – Nadezhda Nivinskaya

Marceline, the housekeeper – Lyudmila Vorobyova

Cherubin, the Count’s page – Alina Shakirova

Bartholo, a doctor – Yuriy Baranov, Sergey Vasilchenko

Bazile, a teacher of music – Maksim Sazhin

Don Curzio, a judge – Nikolay Hondzinskiy

Antonio, a gardener – Yuriy Baranov, Evgeniy Plehanov

Barbarine, his daughter – Ksenia Molotkova

Peasant men and women, guests, servants.

The opera is performed in Russian.

The performance duration is 3 h 10 min

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