Marriage Of Figaro Essay, Research Paper
Marriage of Figaro: Mozart’s legacy
Moores Opera center’s staging of its first opera of the semester- The marriage of Figaro (Jan. 29) filled its elegant little theatre to overflowing. The marriage of Figaro was written in 1786 on a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte and set to music by Mozart.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) was an Austrian composer who brought the Viennese classical style to its height. He was a child prodigy and his style essentially represents a synthesis of many different elements. Unlike his contemporaries Haydn and Beethoven, “he excelled in every medium current in his time (especially in chamber music for strings, in the piano concerto and the opera): he thus may be regarded as the most universal composer in the history of Western music” (New Grove…). Mozart wrote in different styles of his day: opera buffa, or comic Italian opera (The marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni); opera seria, or serious Italian opera (Idomeneo); and singspiel, a lighter form of German opera with spoken dialogue (The Magic Flute).
Recent research has shown that “he did not compose the opera (Marriage of Figaro) from beginning to end within six weeks as Da Ponte sent him the Libretto, but according to the character of the items: first the playful-undramatic ones, then the comic-dramatic, third the action scenes and last the lyrical arias” (New Grove…). Marriage of Figaro, which is the second in the trilogy of plays by Pierre – Augustin Caron de Beumarchais, is based on the tensions of class and sex. It was a revolutionary work as its scandalous political content allowed a servant (Figaro) to outwit the upper classes (Count Almaviva- his master). In the tradition of opera buffa, the play derives its humor from the skillful exploitation of situations where characters disguise as each other and are caught in uncompromising situations, rather than from the development of characters.
Carlos Monzon played the title role of Figaro: lively, devious and charismatic. Giles Herman as Count Almaviva had a beautiful baritone and a good sense of style and cut a handsome figure on stage. Hyang suk Shin played the jilted countess and Katherine Korsak in a ‘pants role’ was her smitten lover Cherubino. Anne Marie Condacse as the chamber maid Susanna tended to overplay the cuteness and cleverness of her role. Along with the supporting cast, they all made a delightful team.