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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Delivers Sheer Joy, 8 April 2013
This review is from: Mozart - Le Nozze di Figaro [2 DVDs] [2010] (DVD)
In this 2008 Royal Opera House treatment of "Le Nozze di Figaro," the beloved opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that was written more than 200 years ago, Erwin Schrott plays Figaro, the title character. The opera was based on a play of the same name by the Frenchman Pierre Beaumarchais, with a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It was a tremendous hit for Mozart when it opened, despite, or perhaps, because of the fact that it was controversial and radical in its time: It is titled for a servant, Figaro, and shows him outsmarting his master, the Count Almaviva.

The plot seems intricate and complicated but is not. It is the wedding day of Figaro and the delightful Susanna, two servants of the Count Almaviva. They are wary of the Count, who has abused his power and seduced many servant and peasant girls, and now has eyes for Susanna. The count regrets having publicly given up his historic "droit de seigneur,"the right of the lord to have the first night of her marriage with a woman under his control, merely to impress his friends and servants with his enlightenment liberalism. His Countess is suffering,too, seeing her husband flirt with and charm innocent young women every day. She teams up with Susana, devising a series of plans to teach the Count a lesson: the Countess and Susanna switch their identities by exchanging outfits. The Count does not realize that the woman disguised as his wife is actually Susanna, and, for once, feels the unfamiliar twinge of jealousy as he sees her flirt with Figaro. Soon after, he sneaks off to what he believes is his rendezvous with Susanna, except the woman is actually his wife. Upon being confronted with his actions, he begs the countess's pardon.

Susanna is played by the lively and lovely Miah Persson; Count Almaviva, by Gerald Finley, who has also played Figaro; the Countess, by Dorothea Roschmann; Cherubino, by Rinat Shaham. The opera was directed by David McVicar; the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, conducted by Antonio Pappano. The Royal Opera Chorus is also featured. The flavorful sets and costumes are by Tanya McCallin.

I recently saw this at a local movie house, in $25 seats, to celebrate my birthday, as I love this opera. I had somehow forgotten (Oh, those senior citizen moments) that I was shortly going to see it live, presented by the Wilmington Concert Association, a local - Wilmington, North Carolina-- based organization. Though surely, not done by so grand a company. Anyway, at the end of the performance, I noticed a 2006 copyright date and had an OMG moment: I could probably find this for sale at Amazon. And I could, and I did purchase it, and am delighted with my purchase.

Mind you, I love music, most of us do, don't we all? In my case, I treasure a fairly wide range of it, rockabilly, golden oldies, pop-Great American songbook-Broadway, jazz, classical, opera, some country. Unfortunately, I haven't that much technical knowledge of music, nor the world's greatest ear. I have read the excellent, very informative reviews of this opera on this site, and am not qualified to produce anything remotely like them. I can only say that I love this purchase: it is sheer joy to me.
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