Italian Club at the Opera: The Marriage of Figaro

By Gina Fabbro

What do you think of when you think about opera? Do you imagine serious, dramatic, sometimes over-the-top stories, filled with love, betrayal, and sometimes death? (I’m looking at you, Tosca !)
While this may be true for the majority of operas, it definitely does not apply to the Marriage of Figaro.

©Gina Fabbro

©Gina Fabbro

On May 11th, seven members of the Italian club gathered at the Capitol Theater to see this famous work performed by the Utah Opera. The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), was written by Mozart and first performed in Vienna in 1786. It’s a comedic opera (opera buffa), performed in four acts. The total time, including two intermissions, was a whopping three and a half hours! However, it felt much shorter because the story, music, and acting were incredibly entertaining. The story is centered on the day of Figaro and Susanna’s wedding, where we see four different couples (Figaro/Susanna; the Count/the Countess; Bartolo/Marcellina; Cherubino/any woman he sets eyes on) all questing for love, oftentimes in the wrong places. As a result, the characters find themselves caught in their own schemes or someone else’s. Themes of trust, jealousy, fidelity, and forgiveness are interwoven into the story as a whole, but never detract from the lighthearted tone.

©Gina Fabbro

©Gina Fabbro

What struck me most about this opera was how incredibly funny it is. It was surprising how many times the whole theater was filled with laughter at the events unfolding on the stage, or from a particularly clever remark from one of the characters. The comedic aspects came primarily from witty banter and thinly-veiled innuendos, as the characters try to either deceive, seduce, or avoid each other. Of course, the opera wraps up in a happy double wedding and reconciliation between the characters.

Utah Symphony & Opera Company "The Marriage of Figaro"  by Mozart, March 11 &12, 2009, Capital Theater, Salt Lake City

Utah Symphony & Opera Company “The Marriage of Figaro” by Mozart, March 11 &12, 2009, Capital Theater, Salt Lake City

The Marriage of Figaro was last opera in the 2015/2016 season. The opera season will pick up again in October, starting with Bizet’s Carmen. A big thank you to everyone who was able to attend. We will keep you posted about other opportunities to attend a show together!

What do you think?