Le Nozzi di Fiagaro
Opera buffa in four acts
Music Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto Lorenzo da Ponte after the comedy by Pierre-Augustin Caron
Conductor Dianandres Noseda
Stage director Yury Alexanrov
Set designer Viacheslav Okunev
Premiere 23 October 1998
Morzart’s Le nozze di Fiagaro was premiered on 1 May 1876, when it was conducted
by the composer at the Burgtheater in Vienna. The libretto was written by Lorenzo da
Ponteafter the comedy La folle journee, ou Le mariage de Figaro by Pierre Beaumarchais.
In December 1876, Mozart again conducted a performance of the opera, this time in
Prague,where it was accorded an equally enthusiastic reception. As his biographer writes: “The
opera was played all winter almost without a break … the public couldn’t get enough of
it … The melodies from Figaro were heard on the streets and the parks”. Since then,
Mozart’s masterpiece has become a permanent fixture in the repertoires of opera houses
al over the world.
The reason for the opera’s success lay in the fact that the composer, for the first
time, brought together heroes undivided by class distinctions. Servant or gentleman,
eachcharacter in first and foremost a human being, independent of social origin.
Allexperience the same emotions of joy and happiness, love and jealousy, wit and
melancholy.Mozart’s characters are Spaniards who sing in Italian, but above al they are Viennese
and the composer’s contemporaries. Mozart erases the borders between German Singspiel
and Italian opera, buffa and seria, comedy and drama,
aristocraticdrawing-rooms and the streets of Venice.
Mozart’s opera buff was first performed in Russia in 1815 and was an immediate favourite
in the repertoires of visiting German and Italian companies. The great Russian composer
Piotr Tchaikovsky translated the libretto into Russian and the Russian premiere was given
by students of the Moscow Conservatoire on 5 May 1876. The opera had to wait twenty
fiveyears, however, before it was passed by censor for the Imperial Theatres. Le nozze
diFiagaro was first staged at the Mariinsly Theatre on 25 September 1901
(conductorE.Krushevsky, stage director Josef Palecek, set designer Yevgeny Ponomarev). Almost a
century passed before the next performance at the Mariinsky, which took place on 5 April
1994 (director Justus Franz, stage director Tim Coleman, set designer Tim Reed).
TheMariinsky production was revived in 1997 by conductor Gianandrea Noseda and stage director
Yury Laptev. The third premiere took place on 23 October 1998 (conductor Gianandrea
Noseda, stage director Yury Alexandrov, set designer Viacheslav Okunev, chorus
directorValery Borisov, Ballet-master Gali Abaidulov, lighting designer Sergei Martynov). The
production is largely orientated on the young stars of the Mariinsky Opera, reflecting
their current level of stardom. Alexandrov transfers the action from Andalusia
torevolutionary France, introducing French soldiers onto the stage and incorporating a
detail from Eugene Delacroix’s famous canvas Liberty Leading the People.