|Le Nozze di Figaro|
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|
|Le Nozze di Figaro Synopsis|
|Le Nozze di Figaro Libretto|
|Previous scene:||E Susanna non vien..|
|Next scene:||Io vi dico signor|
Dorothea Röschmann as Countess Almaviva sings 'Dove sono i bei momenti' from Act III of David McVicar's production of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), The Royal Opera, 2006. Find out more at
Le nozze di Figaro was the first fruit of Mozart’s partnership with librettist Lorenzo da Ponte; they would go on to create Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte. For Figaro, Da Ponte adapted (perhaps at Mozart’s suggestion) Pierre Beaumarchais’ controversial play Le Mariage de Figaro, which at the time was banned in Vienna due to its seditious content. The opera was well received in Vienna but had only nine performances; its revival soon after in Prague was a tremendous success, and led to the commission of Don Giovanni. Figaro quickly entered the international repertory and has rarely been out of it since, admired as one of Mozart’s finest works.
David McVicar’s acclaimed production sets the action in a French château in 1830 on the eve of revolution, amplifying the opera’s undercurrents of class tension. The entire household is drawn into the notoriously complex plot, which covers all shades of human emotion: from spirited playfulness (such as ‘Non più andrai’, when Figaro cheerfully sends Cherubino off to war), to deep despair (such as the Countess’s grief at her husband’s infidelity in ‘Dove sono i bei momenti’). But affection and fidelity prevail in this most warm-hearted of operas: the Count’s plea for forgiveness in the final act, ‘Contessa, perdono’, is an especially moving moment.
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Recitativo ed Aria
E Susanna non vien! Sono ansiosa
di saper come il Conte
accolse la proposta. Alquanto ardito
il progetto mi par, e ad uno sposo
sì vivace, e geloso!
Ma che mal c'è? Cangiando i miei vestiti
con quelli di Susanna, e i suoi co' miei...
al favor della notte... oh cielo, a quale
umil stato fatale io son ridotta
da un consorte crudel, che dopo avermi
con un misto inaudito
d'infedeltà, di gelosia, di sdegni,
prima amata, indi offesa, e alfin tradita,
fammi or cercar da una mia serva aita!
Dove sono i bei momenti
di dolcezza e di piacer,
dove andaro i giuramenti
di quel labbro menzogner?
Perché mai se in pianti e in pene
per me tutto si cangiò,
la memoria di quel bene
dal mio sen non trapassò?
Ah! Se almen la mia costanza
nel languire amando ognor,
mi portasse una speranza
di cangiar l'ingrato cor.
Recitative and Aria
Susanna's not come! I'm impatient
To know what the Count said
To her proposal; the plan seems to me
Somewhat rash, and with a husband
So impetuous and jealous ...
But where's the harm?
To change my clothes
With those of Susanna, and hers with mine,
Under cover of darkness ... Oh heavens!
To what humiliation am I reduced
By a cruel husband, who after having
First loved me, then neglected and finally
Deceived me, in a strange mixture
Of infidelity, jealousy and disdain,
Now forces me to seek help from my servant!
Where are those happy moments
Of sweetness and pleasure?
Where have they gone,
Those vows of a deceiving tongue?
Then why, if everything for me
Is changed to tears and grief,
Has the memory oft hat happiness
Not faded from my breast?
Ah! if only my constancy
In yearning lovingly for him always
Could bring the hope
Of changing his ungrateful heart!