Le nozze di Figaro
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Le nozze di Figaro is one of Mozart’s best-loved and most enduring works. The first of the three operas he wrote with Lorenzo da Ponte and based on Beaumarchais’s play, it established the thirty-year-old Mozart as an opera composer of the very first rank. Its combination of wit, acute psychological observation and sublime music has enthralled audiences ever since its premiere in Prague in 1786.
This guide contains articles about the historical background to the opera, as well as musical and dramatic commentaries. Further articles deal with the changes in musical performance brought about in recent times by the period practice movement and with the particular uses Mozart makes of recitatives. There is also a survey of the opera’s most important productions. Illustrations, a thematic guide, the full libretto with English translation and reference sections are also included.
Living Together, Singing Together, Max Loppert
A Society Marriage, John Wells
A Musical Commentary, Basil Deane
Recitatives in Figaro: Some Thoughts, David Syrus
Music and Comedy in Le nozze di Figaro, Stephen Oliver
A Selective Performance History, George Hall
Le nozze di Figaro: Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte after the play La Folle Journée, ou Le Mariage de Figaro by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais
The Marriage of Figaro: English translation by Opernführer
Translation of Susanna’s alternative aria and rondo by Charles Johnston
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–91) was born in Salzburg, and began composing at the age of five. His subsequent prolific output included the great operas of his maturity, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte and Die Zauberflöte.