It’s not often that opera turns its lofty gaze to sequels. Le Nozze di Figaro, a witty romp of intrigues, infidelity, class divides and concealments, revisits the heroes of The Barber of Seville (1773), and is set to the soaring score of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo da Ponte.
It’s been three years since Figaro managed to marry Count Almaviva to Rosina and now it’s his turn to get hitched to Suzanna - a servant just like him. However the Count has tired of married life and plots to claim his “right of the first night”, according to which a lord can bed his maids on their wedding night. The Count’s machinations are revealed; Figaro and Suzanna tie the knot; and the Count begs his wife’s forgiveness for his betrayal. But will happy ever after prevail?
This energetic Greek National Opera production adds to their cultural showcase marking the 2021 bicentennial of the Greek Revolution. Underneath all the sexual shenanigans, Le Nozze di Figaro references the smouldering social unrest that in a few years would explode into the French Revolution. Napoleon himself would later describe the work as “revolution in action”. Meanwhile, the production was also a watershed in the history of opera. For the first time, its protagonists were no longer gods, mythical heroes or otherworldly figures but everyday people: master and servant.
Continued restrictions in Athens means this intended live performance will now go the way of so many other Greek 2021 events: you'll soon be able to catch it on demand on the GNO's new digital platform GNO TV.