Even if you’re not a fan of classical music or theatre, I’m sure you’ve heard of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro somewhere or other. Or at least, this famous tune:
Composed in 1786, The Marriage of Figaro is a comic opera in four acts that first premiered in Vienna. The opera was based on a stage comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais and tells of how servants Figaro and Susanna struggle to get married while foiling the efforts of their philandering employer, Count Almaviva, to seduce Susanna.
Fun fact: Did you know that Marriage de Figaro was first banned in Vienna ? The Emperor apparently took a dislike to its risque (for that era anyway) and political content and wanted the Austrian Censor to ban it. Eventually, Mozart’s librettist Da Ponte (the guy who writes the lines/script in opera) managed to get approval for the operatic version (he did a few tweaks, such as changing Figaro’s speech about inherited nobility into an aria about unfaithful wives) and bam. Worldwide success – not just for that era, but for hundreds of years to come.
Now, Malaysian audiences can catch the play, as The Marriage of Figaro will be showing at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre from 12 til 15 October. Revolving around themes like fidelity and love, the story is sure to entertain the crowd with its meaningful messages and classic songs, coupled with comedic timing.
A sequel to another one of Beaumarchais’ works, the Barber of Seville, the story is set several years later and follows a ‘day of madness’ in the palace of Count Almaviva in Spain. Almaviva, formerly a romantic youth, is now a scheming, bullying lord. He is constantly trying to exercise his doit du seigneur (similar to the English prima noctie) – which is the right of a lord to bed a servant girl on her wedding night – on his head servant Figaro’s bride-to-be, Susanna, who is the Countess’ maid. He comes up with excuses to delay the wedding, So Figaro, Susanna and the Countess conspire to embarrass him and expose his scheming. He counters with his own plans, and so on and so forth – but will true love prevail and can the Count be brought back to his old noble ways?
Presented by the KL City Opera, the production features talented local performers such as Chi Hoe Mak as Count Almaviva, Ho Chi Mei as Susanna and Samuel Lim as Figaro, along with characters such as the Countess, Cherubino. Marcellina, Dr Bartolo and more. Music will be presented by the KL City Opera Orchestra Ensemble, the KL City Opera Chorus, and the children from the Opera for Kids workshop.
Tickets and info can be found at klpac.org.