The Marriage of Figaro Flashcards Preview

Part 4: The Classical Era > The Marriage of Figaro > Flashcards

Flashcards in The Marriage of Figaro Deck (12)
Loading flashcards...

The Marriage of Figaro background information

-opera buffa

-Le nozze di Figaro, ossia la folle giornata (The Marriage of Figaro or The Day of Madness)

-Wolfgang Amadeaus Mozart

-Lorenzo da Ponte (librettist)


-source of lib.: a controversial French play by Pierre-Augustin de Beaumarchais

-comp 1786

-structure: 4 acts


The Marriage of Figaro essay sections

-Principal Characters

-Plot Summary


-Exposition: First Theme

-Second Theme


-Act 1

-"Non so più" (Cherubino's Aria)

-"Ah! Son perduto" (Recitativo secco: Susanna, Count, Basilio

-"Cosa sento!" (Terzetto: Count, BAsilio, Susanna)


The Marriage of Figaro Principal Characters

-Figaro, baritone, personal valet to the Count

-Susanna, soprano, personal maid to the Countess

-Cherubino, mezzo-soprano a young male page at the palace

-Count Almaviva, baritone, unfaithful husband to the Countess

-Countess Almaviva, soprano, neglected wife of the Count

-Basilio, tenor, the palace gossip and music teacher

-Dr. Bartolo, bass, former guardian of the Countess

-Marcellina, mezzo-soprano, former housekeeper of Dr. Bartolo

-Barbarina, soprano, Susanna's cousin


The Marriage of Figaro Plot Summary

-Figaro,and Susanna, servants in household of Count Almaviva, look forward to their wedding day

-troubled that Count wants to seduce Susanna before marriage

-Countess joins Susanna to trap te Count

-Final Act: two women switch identities (exchange outfits)

-too late when Count realize he's seducing his wife in disguise

-Final Scene: begs wife for forgiveness, pledges love and faithfulness to her

-Sub-plot: housekeeper Marcellina attempt marry Figaro (discovers he's her long-lost son) and charming escapades of Cherubino, a teenage boy discovering romantic love


The Marriage of Figaro Overture

-D major

-modified sonata form


-cut time


The Marriage of Figaro Exposition: First Theme

-D major

-strings rapid eigth-note figures

-joy, excitement


The Marriage of Figaro Second theme

-A major

-more lyrical, less active (contrast)


The Marriage of Figaro Recapitulation

-1st and 2nd them restated in D major

-when first theme returns: unclear if repeat of exposition, start of dev, or recap (element of surprise)

-surprise: foreshadow unexpected events and playful mood of drama that follows


The Marriage of Figaro Act 1

-opera open w/ Figaro measure space for bed he will share w/ bride

-Susanna try hat she will wear for wedding

-they discuss close proximity of bedroom to Count's room, Figaro determined to outsmart Count


The Marriage of Figaro "Non so più" (Cherubino's Aria)

-E flat major

-ABAC form

-Allegro vivace

-cut time

-Cherubino in Susanna's bedroom, sings about newly emerging feelings about love, overwheling attraction to women, confused feelings about love

-melody begin in upper register, builds higher as agitation increases

-very short phrases, separated by rests: suggest breathless passion

-Section A: E flat major

-Section B: B flat major

-Section C: slower, more reflective, end w/ spirited authentic cadence


The Marriage of Figaro "Ah! Son perduto" (Recitativo secco: Susanna, Count, Basilio

-Cherubino hides in the room (fearful) when Count announces his arrival at Susanna's bedroom

-Susanna lets count in, worries he'll find Cherubino, and reject his advances

-Basilio enters, Count fears discovery, hides in the room

-Basilio reveal's Cherubino's love for Countess, Count angrily emerges from hiding place

-recitativo secco; accompanied by continuo only

-dialogue b/t Susanna and Count, then Basilio unfold quickly

-speech-like, declamatory style


The Marriage of Figaro "Cosa sento!" (Terzetto: Count, Basilio, Susanna)

-end of recitative: 3 chars sing trio

-Count rage over Cherubino

-Basilio pleased with trouble he caused

-Susanna worried Count will discover Cherubino

-orchestral accompaniment

-sonata form; unexpected in context

-first theme: B flat major, sung by Count

-bridge: sung by Basilio

-Second Theme: dominant minor, sung by Susanna

-each char express emotions, create contrast and rich musical texture