This season, celebrate Mozart’s birthday with his greatest comedy, The Marriage of Figaro! Opening on the legendary composer’s birthday, January 27, our celebrated production casts this subversive love story in a dreamy haze, delivering a unique take on one of opera’s most beloved works.
Originally commissioned by the Salzburg Festival to celebrate Mozart’s 250th birthday in the composer’s birthplace, this production draws from the plays of August Strindberg and the films of Ingmar Bergman to spin the work towards the surreal. Stark contrasts of black and white punctuate a scandalous study of power between servants and masters, all watched over by a new, silent angel figure.
Setting any Figaro production apart, of course, is some of Mozart’s most famous and well-loved music. The opera’s third act features the aria “Dove sono,” one of the most frequently performed arias in the entire operatic repertoire. Sung by the soprano role Countess Almaviva, the libretto expresses simultaneous frustration at her husband’s philandering, a heartbreaking lament for their past love, and a hopeful ode to continued devotion. Beyond the opera stage, the aria has appeared in recordings by such legendary sopranos as Renée Fleming, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and Leontyne Price.
Perhaps the opera’s most recognizable melody, the duettino—or short duet—”Sull’aria…che soave zeffiretto” made an iconic appearance in the Academy Award-nominated classic The Shawshank Redemption. The film’s protagonist plays a recording of the song over a prison’s public address system, featuring the voices of sopranos Edith Mathis and Gundula Janowitz, a powerful scene which garnered the tune renewed attention and a nomination for the American Film Institute’s “100 Top Movie Songs.” This beloved movie moment has even been recreated in brick form through the Lego videogame Lego City Undercover.
Mozart’s unforgettable compositions punctuate countless stories across the stage and screen, including the story of his life. Among major motion pictures like Zombieland, Wedding Crashers, and The Man Who Wasn’t There, the Academy Award-winning Amadeus stands out—following the life and career of Mozart himself as he composes some of his most beloved work. A central plotline of the film follows Mozart's adaptation of the Beaumarchais play La Folle Journée, ou Le Mariage de Figaro—banned in the composer's Vienna for its “objectionable” material—into his great opera, The Marriage of Figaro.
While we get ready to celebrate Mozart’s 267th birthday this coming January, preview our production with a heartbreaking rendition of “Porgi, amor,” performed by COC Ensemble Studio graduate Jamie Groote!
Join us for The Marriage of Figaro, opening January 27, 2023, and running until February 18, 2023. Tickets on sale Friday, September 2.