Opera Scotland

Marriage of Figaro Le nozze di Figaro; The Marriage of Figaro; Figaro's Wedding

Tours by decade

1810s - 1 tour

1819 - Edinburgh Theatre Royal Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1820s - 1 tour

1824 - Edinburgh Theatre Royal Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1830s - 2 tours

1832 - De Begnis Italian Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1838 - Mr Mitchell's Italian Opera Buffa Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1870s - 4 tours

1874 - Her Majesty's Italian Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1877 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1878 - Her Majesty's Italian Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1879 - Her Majesty's Italian Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1880s - 4 tours

1883 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1885 - Sydney Hill's Royal English Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1886 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1888 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1890s - 3 tours

1890 - J W Turner's English Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1890 - Arthur Rousbey's English Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1891 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1900s - 6 tours

1905 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1906 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1906 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1907 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1908 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1909 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1910s - 6 tours

1910 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1911 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1914 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1917 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1918 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1919 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1920s - 6 tours

1920 - O'Mara Grand Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1920 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1923 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1926 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1927 - British National Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1940s - 4 tours

1941 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1942 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1943 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1947 - Glyndebourne Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1950s - 7 tours

1950 - Glyndebourne Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1950 - Covent Garden Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1951 - Covent Garden Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1953 - Covent Garden Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1957 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1958 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1959 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1960s - 4 tours

1961 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1965 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1966 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1968 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1970s - 6 tours

1972 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1973 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1974 - Tayside Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1975 - Edinburgh Festival Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1976 - Edinburgh Festival Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1977 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1980s - 5 tours

1980 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1986 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1986 - Perth Festival Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1987 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1989 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1990s - 5 tours

1992 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1994 - Edinburgh International Festival
Concert performance
1995 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1998 - Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD)
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1999 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

2000s - 6 tours

2000 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2004 - English Touring Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2004 - Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD)
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2005 - Glyndebourne on Tour
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2006 - Opera North
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2009 - Opera Project
Fully Staged with Orchestra

2010s - 32 tours

2010 - English Touring Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2010 - University of Dundee Continuing Education
Lecture with Illustrations
2010 - University of Dundee Continuing Education
Lecture with Illustrations
2010 - Aberdeen University Opera Society
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2010 - Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD)
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2010 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2010 - Scottish Opera
Opera Unwrapped
2010 - Scottish Opera
Pre-show Talk
2010 - Scottish Opera
Concert of Excerpts
2010 - Friends of Scottish Opera
Society Meeting
2010 - Friends of Scottish Opera
Society Meeting
2012 - Aria Alba - Opera for All
Concert performance
2012 - Glyndebourne Festival Opera
Cinema Screening
2013 - Edinburgh Studio Opera
Concert of Excerpts
2015 - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2015 - VoiceArc
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2015 - Budapest Festival Orchestra
Concert performance
2015 - VoiceArc
Other
2015 - Opera dei Lumi
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2016 - Aberdeen University Opera Society
Concert performance
2016 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2016 - Scottish Opera
Opera Unwrapped
2016 - Scottish Opera
Pre-show Talk
2016 - VoiceArc
Concert performance
2016 - Scottish Opera
Other
2017 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2017 - Edinburgh Studio Opera
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2017 - Magnetic Opera
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2018 - English Touring Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2019 - University of St Andrews Opera Society
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2019 - Blackbird Opera
Other
2019 - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration

Tours by location

Scotland, UK - 184 entries

1819 - Edinburgh Theatre Royal Company
Edinburgh
1824 - Edinburgh Theatre Royal Company
Edinburgh
1832 - De Begnis Italian Opera Company
Edinburgh
1838 - Mr Mitchell's Italian Opera Buffa Company
Edinburgh
1874 - Her Majesty's Italian Opera
Glasgow
1877 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1877 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1877 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1878 - Her Majesty's Italian Opera
Glasgow
1879 - Her Majesty's Italian Opera
Glasgow
1883 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1883 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1885 - Sydney Hill's Royal English Opera Company
Edinburgh
1885 - Sydney Hill's Royal English Opera Company
Aberdeen
1885 - Sydney Hill's Royal English Opera Company
Dundee
1886 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1886 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1888 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1888 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1890 - Arthur Rousbey's English Opera Company
Edinburgh
1890 - Arthur Rousbey's English Opera Company
Aberdeen
1890 - Arthur Rousbey's English Opera Company
Dundee
1890 - Arthur Rousbey's English Opera Company
Glasgow
1890 - J W Turner's English Opera Company
Dundee
1891 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1905 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1906 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Edinburgh
1906 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1907 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1907 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Greenock
1908 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1909 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1909 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1910 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1910 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1911 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1914 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1914 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1917 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1918 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1919 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1920 - O'Mara Grand Opera Company
Aberdeen
1920 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1923 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1923 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Perth
1923 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1924 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1926 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1927 - British National Opera Company
Glasgow
1927 - British National Opera Company
Edinburgh
1927 - British National Opera Company
Aberdeen
1927 - British National Opera Company
Dundee
1941 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1941 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Edinburgh
1942 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1942 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1943 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1943 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1947 - Glyndebourne Opera
Edinburgh
1950 - Covent Garden Opera
Edinburgh
1950 - Glyndebourne Opera
Edinburgh
1951 - Covent Garden Opera
Edinburgh
1953 - Covent Garden Opera
Edinburgh
1957 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Aberdeen
1957 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Dundee
1957 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1958 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Edinburgh
1958 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Dundee
1958 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Aberdeen
1958 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1959 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Edinburgh
1959 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Dundee
1959 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1961 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1961 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Edinburgh
1961 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Dundee
1965 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1966 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Edinburgh
1966 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Aberdeen
1968 - Scottish Opera
Perth
1968 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1968 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1968 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1972 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1972 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1972 - Scottish Opera
Stirling
1972 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1973 - Scottish Opera
Stirling
1973 - Scottish Opera
Perth
1973 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1973 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1973 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1974 - Tayside Opera
Dundee
1975 - Edinburgh Festival Opera
Edinburgh
1976 - Edinburgh Festival Opera
Edinburgh
1977 - Scottish Opera
Stirling
1977 - Scottish Opera
Kirkcaldy
1977 - Scottish Opera
Dundee
1977 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1977 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1980 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1986 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1986 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1986 - Perth Festival Opera
Perth
1987 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1987 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1987 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1989 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1989 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1989 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1989 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
1992 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1992 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1994 - Edinburgh International Festival
Edinburgh
1995 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1995 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1995 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1998 - Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD)
Glasgow
1998 - Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD)
Edinburgh
1999 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1999 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2000 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2000 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2004 - Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD)
Glasgow
2004 - Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD)
Edinburgh
2004 - English Touring Opera
Perth
2005 - Glyndebourne on Tour
Edinburgh
2006 - Opera North
Aberdeen
2009 - Opera Project
Culross, near Dunfermline
2010 - University of Dundee Continuing Education
Perth
2010 - Aberdeen University Opera Society
Aberdeen
2010 - English Touring Opera
Perth
2010 - Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD)
Glasgow
2010 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2010 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2010 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2010 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2010 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2010 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
2010 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
2010 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
2010 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2010 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2010 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2010 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2010 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2012 - Aria Alba - Opera for All
Edinburgh
2012 - Glyndebourne Festival Opera
Aberdeen
2012 - Glyndebourne Festival Opera
Dundee
2012 - Glyndebourne Festival Opera
Edinburgh
2013 - Edinburgh Studio Opera
Edinburgh
2015 - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Glasgow
2015 - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Perth
2015 - VoiceArc
Edinburgh
2015 - Opera dei Lumi
Berwick-upon-Tweed
2015 - Budapest Festival Orchestra
Edinburgh
2015 - Opera dei Lumi
Edinburgh
2015 - VoiceArc
Edinburgh
2016 - Aberdeen University Opera Society
Aberdeen
2016 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2016 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2016 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2016 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
2016 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
2016 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
2016 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2016 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2016 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2016 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2016 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2016 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2016 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2016 - VoiceArc
Edinburgh
2017 - Edinburgh Studio Opera
Edinburgh
2017 - Magnetic Opera
Edinburgh
2018 - English Touring Opera
Perth
2019 - University of St Andrews Opera Society
St Andrews
2019 - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Glasgow
2019 - Blackbird Opera
Sanquhar
2019 - Blackbird Opera
Moffat
2019 - Blackbird Opera
Dumfries
2019 - Blackbird Opera
Castle Douglas

England, UK - 18 entries

1968 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1972 - Scottish Opera
Leeds
1972 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1973 - Scottish Opera
Sunderland
1973 - Scottish Opera
Liverpool
1977 - Scottish Opera
Doncaster
1977 - Scottish Opera
Darlington
1977 - Scottish Opera
Barrow-in-Furness
1977 - Scottish Opera
Crewe
1986 - Scottish Opera
Liverpool
1986 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1987 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1989 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1992 - Scottish Opera
Bradford
1992 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1995 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
2000 - Scottish Opera
Sunderland
2017 - Scottish Opera
Liverpool

Music
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (born Salzburg, 27 January 1756; died Vienna, 5 December 1791)

Text
Lorenzo da Ponte.

Source
Play La folle journée (1784) by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (French 1732-99).

Premieres
First performance: Vienna (Burgtheater), 1 May 1786.
First UK performance: London (Pantheon), 2 May 1812.
First performance in Scotland: Edinburgh (Theatre Royal), 30 July 1819.
Scottish Opera première: Perth (Theatre), 9 April 1968.

Background
Beaumarchais only uses The Marriage of Figaro as an alternative title to The Mad Day, the second of three plays involving the Almaviva household, of which the ever-popular Barber of Seville is the first. It was a controversial subject given its depiction of the Count as boorish and not very bright, while his wife and servants are shown to outwit him. The women are generally more intelligent than the men.

Characters
Count Almaviva (baritone)
Figaro, his valet (bass-baritone)
Countess Almaviva (soprano)
Susanna, her maid (soprano)
Cherubino, the Count’s page (mezzo-soprano)
Doctor Bartolo, formerly the Countess’s guardian (bass)
Marcellina, his housekeeper (mezzo-soprano)
Don Basilio, a music teacher (tenor)
Antonio, a gardener (baritone)
Don Curzio, a lawyer (tenor)
Barbarina, Antonio’s daughter (soprano)
Two bridesmaids (sopranos)

Plot Summary
The setting is the Almaviva palace near Seville in the 1780s. The opera opens on the day when Figaro and Susanna are to marry. They are uneasy to find that their room is very close to the Count’s, since he is a notorious philanderer. Additional complications arise from two other subplots. Firstly, the adolescent pageboy Cherubino has developed a crush on the Countess. Secondly, Marcellina, having loaned Figaro money which has not been repaid, claims that he is to marry her instead.

The intricacy with which Beaumarchais works out the farcical plot, the cleverness with which da Ponte adapts it for operatic requirements, and the brilliance with which Mozart paces the entire composition, as the various confusions are sorted out, make it one of the very greatest works in the repertoire.

RECORDINGS

TELARC (3 CDs) Sung in Italian Recorded 1994

Conductor: Charles Mackerras.
Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Carol Vaness (Countess), Nuccia Focile (Susanna), Alastair Miles (Figaro).
Alessandro Corbelli (Count), Suzanne Mentzer (Cherubino), Alfonso Antoniozzi (Bartolo).

This wonderful performance was made in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall in the days leading up to a concert performance at the 1994 Edinburgh Festival. Charles Mackerras revolutionised performance practice in this opera when he conducted a new production for Sadler’s Wells in 1965, introducing vocal decorations and other adjustments which can now be seen as the early stages in the authenticity movement. Forty years and dozens of performances later, his reading is still delightful. Apart from the wonderful cast listed, the smaller roles include Suzanne Murphy as Marcellina and Ryland Davies doubling as Basilio and Curzio (a practice rarely followed now, but which goes back to the creator of the parts, the Irish tenor Michael Kelly).

DECCA (3 CDs) Sung in Italian Recorded 1981

Conductor: Georg Solti. London Philharmonic Orchestra Kiri Te Kanawa (Countess), Lucia Popp (Susanna), Samuel Ramey (Figaro), Thomas Allen (Count), Frederica von Stade (Cherubino), Kurt Moll (Bartolo).

It is difficult to imagine a better cast for Figaro being assembled at this or any other time. Even the smaller roles boast stars of the calibre of Robert Tear, Jane Berbie, and Yvonne Kenny – even Philip Langridge in the tiny role of Don Curzio. Solti’s conducting of Mozart was sometimes thought too rushed compared with earlier classic accounts by Gui or Erich Kleiber, but we are now accustomed to the fleet-footed authentic stylists, so this approach now seems more natural. In any event, it is hard to resist performers like Kiri Te Kanawa and Thomas Allen as the Almavivas and Lucia Popp and Samuel Ramey as the servants.

EMI (2CDs) Sung in Italian Recorded 1976

Conductor: Daniel Barenboim. English Chamber Orchestra Heather Harper (Countess), Judith Blegen (Susanna), Geraint Evans (Figaro). Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Count), Teresa Berganza (Cherubino), William McCue (Bartolo).

Geraint Evans’s Edinburgh Festival production was seen by some at the time as a gathering of old chums guiding young Barenboim into the strange ways of conducting opera – so they clearly got something right. Not all the elements gel, but Berganza’s Cherubino is astonishingly youthful, twenty years into her career. Fischer-Dieskau only sang staged opera in Scotland in this one production. Blegen is a good Susanna, (though not as wonderful as Cotrubas had been the year before). The small roles, led by McCue’s Bartolo, feature several under-recorded artists who were regulars with Scottish Opera – John Robertson (Curzio), Malcolm Donnelly (Antonio), Elizabeth Ritchie and Patricia O’Neill (Bridesmaids), and it is good to be reminded of them all.

The Cast

Antonio
 a gardener, Susanna's uncle
Barbarina
 daugher of Antonio
Bartolo
 a doctor, the Countess's former guardian
Cherubino
 the Count's page
Count Almaviva
 
Countess Almaviva
 
Dancer
 
Don Basilio
 a priest and music master
Don Curzio
 a lawyer
Figaro
 the Count's valet
First Peasant Girl
 
Marcellina
 Bartolo's housekeeper
Second Peasant Girl
 
Susanna
 the Countess's maid

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