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Based on French author Pierre de Beaumarchais' play, The Wild Day or The Marriage of Figaro, the comic opera by Mozart portrays a day of aristocratic arrogance, frivolity, romantic intrigue, mistaken identity, and a final bow to humanity -- not to mention containing some of the most well-known music of the classical repertoire, including its famous overture.

Beaumarchais' play was originally banned in late 18th-century France, scandalous in its portrayal of a lust-driven nobleman who is thwarted in his next conquest by his quick-witted valet. Casting suspicion on France's class system (which stood as the foundation of French governance), was not only seen as improper, but also somewhat subversive and revolutionary. Lorenzo da Ponte's libretto and Mozart's musical interpretation of the less scandalous work premiered to much acclaim in 1786 in Vienna -- a long applause after every aria and ensemble caused the opera to be twice its original length. Since then, The Marriage of Figaro has become an opera in which students of music and connoisseurs alike could revel in its tunefulness, musical and story complexities, dramatic tension, comedic relief, and evolution of character development.

This performance is generously underwritten by Elaine Showalter Smith '36.

The DePauw Opera presents four performances of a full production with orchestra every year, using double casting to provide more students opportunities for lead roles. (at right: photo from rehearsal)

"We have such a strong voice department here at the DePauw School of Music, it is easy to consider putting as many students as possible into major roles," says Orcenith Smith, music director of the production. Keith Tonne, director of DePauw Opera, provided an updated translation for the opera, which will be sung in English. Sets were designed by Duane Skoog, lighting is by David del Colletti, and stage direction is by Tonne and Tim Good.


DePauw Opera Presents: The Marriage of Figaro

Sunday, March 7, 2010, 2:00 p.m. Judson and Joyce Green Center for the Performing Arts, Moore Theater

Greencastle, Indiana

Act 1

Act 2

Act 2 part 2

Act 3

Act 4

Act 4 part 2