Preloader Operavision
Mark Douet
09.07.2019 at 20h00 CET
Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 20:00

Royal Opera House

The Marriage of Figaro

Vengeance is a pleasure reserved for the wise.

Operas | Mozart

A count has designs on his personal valet's fiancée and is determined to stop their wedding taking place. Meanwhile, the countess tries to regain her husband's love by any means necessary.

 

Mozart's great comic opera of intrigue, misunderstanding and forgiveness returns to the Royal Opera House in this revival of David McVicar's much-loved production. Christian Gerhaher plays the clever Figaro alongside Simon Keenlyside as his aristocratic master.

Sung in Italian

Live subtitled in English. French and German subtitles soon available with possibility of auto-translation into 114 other languages.

Available from
09.07.2019 at 20h00 CET

FigaroChristian Gerhaher
SusannaJoélle Harvey
Count AlmavivaSimon Keenlyside
Countess AlmavivaJulia Kleiter
CherubinoKangmin Justin Kim
BartoloMaurizio Muraro
MarcellinaDiana Montague
Don BasilioJean-Paul Fouchécourt
AntonioJeremy White
Don CurzioAlasdair Elliott
BarbarinaYaritza Véliz
First BridesmaidRebecca Hardwick
Second BridesmaidAngharad Rowlands
ChorusRoyal Opera Chorus
OrchestraOrchestra of the Royal Opera House


MusicWolfgang Amadeus Mozart
TextLorenzo da Ponte
ConductorJohn Eliot Gardiner
DirectorDavid McVicar
DesignerTanya McCallin
Lighting DesignerPaule Constable
Movement DirectorLeah Hausman
Chorus MasterWilliam Spaulding
Revival DirectorThomas Guthrie
Revival Movement DirectorAngelo Smimmo

Act I

It is the day of Figaro’s marriage to Susanna, maid to the Countess. Figaro, valet to the Count, is assessing the bedroom offered to him by his employer; it conveniently adjoins both the Count’s and the Countess’s apartments. Susanna points out that the room will also be ‘convenient’ when the Count chooses to reinstate the ‘Droit de Seigneur’, a feudal practice in which a local Count can ‘deflower the bride;’ a practice that he has recently abolished. Figaro determines to outwit his master.

But Figaro owes money to Marcellina, and has promised to marry her if he does not manage to repay her. He has also raised the ire of Dr. Bartolo, the Countess’s former guardian, for his role in helping bring about the Count’s marriage to the Countess. To complicate matters further, the young page Cherubino wants Susanna to intercede on his behalf with the Count, who has dismissed him from the castle after catching him alone with Antonio’s daughter, Barbarina.

Suddenly the Count shows up, causing disarray. Cherubino hides and hears the Count’s overtures to Susanna. The Count in turn hides, and overhears Basilio, the music master, making insinuations about Cherubino and the Countess. The Count emerges, discovers the unfortunate page, and sends him to rejoin his regiment.

Act II

A weeping Countess laments the loss of the Count’s love. Figaro reveals his plan to outwit the Count: he has sent him an anonymous letter implying that the Countess has a lover. Susanna points out that Marcellina can still invoke the debt and stop the wedding, and a second plan is hatched. Susanna will agree to meet the Count in the garden, but Cherubino will go disguised in her place. Figaro instructs the women to dress Cherubino appropriately.

The page flirts with the ladies by singing his latest composition. When he is half undressed, the Count arrives. Having received Figaro’s letter, he is in a jealous rage. Cherubino, hidden in the closet, knocks over a chair. The Countess, in a panic, pretends that the noise is Susanna, but refuses to unlock the door; meanwhile, Susanna rescues Cherubino, who escapes out of the window. Susanna locks herself in the closet.

The Countess attempts to explain to her husband the presence of Cherubino in her closet. She is as surprised as the Count when it is Susanna who emerges. The two women pretend that the whole episode was a trick to provoke the Count into better treatment of his wife. They confess that the letter was written by Figaro, who then joins them, unaware of the women’s revelations to the Count. When Bartolo, Basilio and Marcellina arrive with a lawsuit to force Figaro’s marriage to Marcellina, the Count is triumphant.

Act III

The Countess and Susanna open the third act with a plan to disrupt the Count’s amorous intentions. Susanna will agree to meet the Count that evening in the garden, but the Countess will go in her place, disguised as her maid.

On the advice of his legal consultant, Don Curzio, the Count insists that Figaro pay Marcellina at once or marry her. Figaro is saved by the timely revelation that he is the long-lost son of Marcellina and Bartolo; everyone but the Count and Don Curzio embraces their new relations.

Finally the wedding celebrations of Figaro and Susanna begin. Cherubino is unmasked among the bridesmaids, but Barbarina shames the Count into allowing him to stay at the castle. Susanna passes the Count the letter dictated by the Countess, confirming her evening rendezvous with him under the pine trees.

Act IV

In the garden everybody is waiting: the Count and Figaro for Susanna; the Countess for the Count; Bartolo and Basilio to witness the revival of the ‘Droit de Seigneur.’ Figaro rails against the faithlessness of Susanna, while she looks forward to the conclusion of her plans.

The appearance of Cherubino is potentially disastrous, but the Count arrives and woos ‘Susanna,’ in fact his wife. The jealous Figaro is then confronted by Susanna, disguised as the Countess, but he recognises his bride and they are reconciled – witnessed by the Count, who believes he sees his wife in the arms of his valet. He denounces her; the real Countess unmasks herself and forgives her husband. The day ends in celebration.