Ballet & Dance

première in October 2003
Le Nozze di Figaro
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1790)
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
5 performances

April 7(Thu)6:30pm, 9(Sat)5:00pm, 11(Mon)6:30pm, 14(Thu)6:30pm,
17(Sun)3:00pm 2005
Approximate running time: 3 hours, 20 minutes with 1 intermission

Conductor: Hirai Hideaki
Director: Andreas Homoki
Scenery Design: Frank Philipp Schlössmann
Costume Design: Mechthild Seipel
Lighting Design: Frank Evin

Il Conte Almaviva: Wolfgang Brendel
La Contessa Almaviva: Emily Magee
Figaro: Maurizio Muraro
Susanna: Matsubara Yuna

Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) by Mozart has won its immortality and continued to be performed at opera houses worldwide. The opera is based on the play of political satire by Beaumarchais, who lived in the period of the French Revolution. The libretto was written by Lorenzo da Ponte, well-known for his collaboration with Mozart, and Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così Fan Tutte, all produced through the collaboration between the two, are said to be the greatest masterpieces among Mozart’s works. Because the original work was a satirical play in which tactful ordinary people outwit corrupt noblemen of the day, it was feared whether permission to perform the opera could be obtained or not. However, it premiered in Vienna in 1788 and its subsequent performance in Prague gained explosive popularity. Characters of various classes, from the nobility to the common people, appear on the stage, and the opera uses the then prevailing dramaturgical rule of trois unités (three unities) to depict the hot clash of action of a day’s events. There are many highlights, including the light and airy overture inviting the audience to the comedy, “Voi che sapete (You who know)” by Cherubino, “Non più andrai (No longer will you go)” by Figaro and the Countess’s superb aria “Dove sono i bei momenti (Where are the golden moments?).” The ensembles that adorn the final scenes of Acts II and IV are also some of the best parts of the opera. Le Nozze di Figaro was chosen by Artistic Director Thomas Novohradsky as the opener of the NNTT’s 2003/2004 season because it is musically and theatrically a major milestone in operatic history. The direction by Andreas Homoki demonstrated the new direction of the NNTT, with critics commenting that the NNTT had “got off to a good start.” On the opening night, boos and bravos at the curtain call extended beyond the theatre, bringing about lively discussions among the opera fans even after the performance was over.
A former barber and now a servant of Count Almaviva, Figaro is going to marry Susanna, a servant of the Countess. Although the Count has already given up the right of the first night (the lord’s right to share the first marriage night with his servant’s bride in place of the servant), the Count, who fancies Susanna, intends to reclaim the right. The Countess laments that her husband’s love for her is cooling. Therefore, the Countess, Figaro and Susanna all conspire to outwit the Count. They use Susanna’s clothes to disguise Cherubino, a page at puberty, as a woman and try to lure out the Count but fail. Meanwhile, Dr. Bartolo’s housekeeper Marcellina, who loves Figaro, tries to hold him to an agreement he made to marry her if he could not repay a loan and initiates a lawsuit. It is revealed, however, that Figaro is Marcellina’s child, ending in a happy reunion. The Countess and Susanna exchange clothing and plot to catch the Count in the act of flirting. Not knowing of the plot, Figaro is confused momentarily but soon understands. The Count is tricked as planned and humbly begs his wife’s forgiveness. All rejoice in the happy ending of the “mad day.”
  <Conductor> <Director>  
  Hirai Hideaki Andreas Homoki  
<Main Cast>
Wolfgang Brendel Emily Magee Maurizio Muraro Matsubara Yuna