Opera buffa in four acts
Performed in Italian with Russian subtitles
Co-production by the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre
The opera was written in 1786. This version was first performed in Perm in 2012. Running time: 3 hours 25 minutes including 1 interval
Figaro, Count Almaviva’s valet, intends to marry Susanna, the countess’s maid. However, the Count does all he can to prevent the marriage, as he has taken a fancy to Susanna himself. The resourceful servant could easily wind the old voluptuary around his little finger, but his master’s house is full of plotters determined to spite the young hero. The plot was taken from a comedy by French dramatist Pierre Beaumarchais entitled The Mad Day, or the Marriage of Figaro (1781). The play was censored for three years on account of its caustic satire of the aristocracy, until public opinion obliged Louis XVI to lift the prohibition. The scandal surrounding the play only encouraged Mozart to write his opera. The composer and librettist concealed the social subtext in a comedy of morals with witty dialogue and metamorphoses.
In Philipp Himmelmann’s production, the action of the opera is transposed into the realm of abstraction and symbolic details: Mozart’s garden is reduced to a single tree; the action takes place on a boarded platform; the artists throw earth at one another; and a black sun hovers erotically and threateningly over the action.