Opera in Conversation: The Marriage of Figaro

May 6, 2020

Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for Opera in Conversation: The Marriage of Figaro on the evening of Tuesday May 5 on Facebook Live. Opera Omaha’s Director of Engagement Programs Lauren Medici sat down with Maestro Steven White, who will conduct the opera in Omaha as part of our 2020/2021 Season, and our own Head of Music Sean Kelly. The conversation dove deep into this famous comedy, as well as some of Mozart’s other operas.

The conversation began with an overview of the story from White and Kelly. As White noted, it is a story that is on one level incredibly complex and convoluted, yet on another beautifully contained as are many of the most popular operas. The entire narrative arc of The Marriage of Figaro takes place in just 24 hours, but what day it is! The classic story elements are all present; from attempts at adultery and secretive schemes, to gossiping servants.

Another theme of the conversation included the class dynamics between ruling and servant classes in both the libretto and the music. In fact, the Beaumarchais play of the same name on which the opera is based was banned if France by nature of its transgressions of the hierarchical society under which it reflected. The conversation also touched on Opera Omaha’s casting decisions for this production, Mozart’s love for his characters, as well as the development of Mozart’s comic operas between The Abduction from the Seraglio which Opera Omaha staged as part of our 2019/2020 Season, and The Marriage of Figaro.

Watch the full conversation above to learn more about this comedic masterpiece, and witness what happens when two self-professed Mozart aficionados are able to share their admiration for one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music!

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