|Le Nozze di Figaro|
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|
|Le Nozze di Figaro Synopsis|
|Le Nozze di Figaro Libretto|
|Next scene:||Porgi amor qualche ristoro|
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.
Visit our People Page for more about Dorothea Röschmann:
Non più andrai, farfallone amoroso,
notte e giorno d'intorno girando;
delle belle turbando il riposo
Narcisetto, Adoncino d'amor.
Non più avrai questi bei pennacchini,
quel cappello leggero e galante,
quella chioma, quell'aria brillante,
quel vermiglio donnesco color.
Tra guerrieri, poffar Bacco!
Gran mustacchi, stretto sacco.
Schioppo in spalla, sciabla al fianco,
collo dritto, muso franco,
un gran casco, o un gran turbante,
molto onor, poco contante!
Ed invece del fandango,
una marcia per il fango.
Per montagne, per valloni,
con le nevi e i sollioni.
Al concerto di tromboni,
di bombarde, di cannoni,
che le palle in tutti i tuoni
all'orecchio fan fischiar.
Cherubino alla vittoria:
alla gloria militar.
Partono tutti alla militare.
No more, you amorous butterfly,
Will you go fluttering round by night and day,
Disturbing the peace of every maid,
You pocket Narcissus, you Adonis of love.
No more will you have those fine feathers,
That light and dashing cap,
Those curls, those airs and graces,
That roseate womanish colour.
You'll be among warriors, by Bacchus!
Long moustaches, knapsack tightly on,
Musket on your shoulder, sabre at your side,
Head erect and bold of visage,
A great helmet or a head?dress,
Lots of honour, little money,
And instead of the fandango,
Marching through the mud.
Over mountains, through valleys,
In snow and days of listless heat,
To the sound of blunderbusses,
Shells and cannons,
Whose shots make your ears sing
On every note.
Cherubino, on to victory,
On to military glory!
Exeunt omnes to the sound of a march.