Loving Two Leading Ladies in The Marriage of Figaro Essay

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“My happiness is in your hands.”1 This is the Countess’ plea as Susanna enters the Count’s study. She is about to accept the Count’s offer to meet after her wedding at her mistress’s request. This riveting scene in “The Marriage of Figaro” premiered on the stage of the Burgtheater in Vienna on May 1st, 1986.2 With the music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, the Italian opera was an adaption of Pierre- Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais’ play “The Follies of a Day or, The Marriage of Figaro”. The play finally made it to the stage on April 27th, 1984, of the Comedie-Française after being banned by King Joseph II and being revised by a second censor board.3 “The Marriage of Figaro” takes place on the wedding day of…show more content…
She was intelligent and compassionate and insightful. This insight is clear to us from the beginning, as the curtains open on a bedroom, in which Figaro is measuring and Susanna is preparing her headdress for the ceremony later that day. Their duet begins and Figaro is measuring dimensions of furniture to a “bourree pattern”6 with strong beats, while Susanna sings a “gavotte”7 which is quick and lively, about her beautiful headdress. She calls to Figaro to admire it, and breaks his pattern. “The third-beat accent of her melody unsettles Figaro’s deliberate downbeat… interfere[ing] with the valet’s concentration… throwing his vocal tallying out of sync.”8 She fills in his space with a delicate melody that gets him back on tempo and turns his attention towards her, where he finally acknowledges her headdress and remarks about the practicality of the room, leading into the second duet. Here we draw the parallel between Figaro’s masculine rhythm and his rationality. His steady downbeats match the logic he uses to take the Count’s gift of the room as an advantage, because it is close to both the Count and Countess’s quarters. Similar to the way Susanna was able to “sing” Figaro back into place, she uses her global perspective of the situation to realize the Count wants her close to his room for easier access. Susanna leads Figaro to this realization, and brings him to the reality of the situation. Using her insight, Susanna demonstrates

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