Comic opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte based on a stage comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais, “La folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro”
World premiere on May 1, 1786 at the Burgtheater in Vienna
Premiere at the Estonian National Opera on February 3, 2017
Sung in Italian with subtitles in Estonian and English
“Le nozze di Figaro” was Mozart’s first collaboration with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte. They would soon create “Don Giovanni” and “Così fan tutte”. Lorenzo Da Ponte adapted Pierre Beaumarchais’ controversial play that at the time was banned in Vienna due to its scandalous portrayal of servants outwitting their aristocratic masters. But Da Ponte focuses less on the original satire and more on the timeless issues of the comedy genre. Following its successful Viennese premiere, the opera became a major success when produced in Prague a few months later – a triumph for Mozart that led to the commission to write “Don Giovanni”.
Mozart’s score is sunny and sublime with a bubbling overture, brilliantly crafted arias and animated ensemble scenes that won the hearts of its early audiences. Encores became so numerous that after the work’s third performance the emperor allowed encores only for arias to keep the performance to a sensible length.