Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Le nozze di Figaro

12 October - 17 October
Screenings from the 2012 Festival

This production goes on Tour with a new cast from October

View Australian Cinema listings 12 - 17 October

A new production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro has particular resonance for Glyndebourne. In 1934, it was our first opera to be performed, and it was also the opening production of the newly built opera house in 1994. This production brings together two thrilling artistic talents. Conductor Robin Ticciati will be Glyndebourne’s new Music Director from 2014 and director Michael Grandage will return for the first time since making his opera debut at Glyndebourne with Billy Budd in 2010.

For Mozart, constantly chafing at the restrictions imposed by his aristocratic patrons, the story of servants outwitting their master had immediate appeal. He responded with music that is unrivalled in its beauty and acute levels of characterisation. The Countess’s pain at losing her husband’s love; Susanna’s determination to marry her beloved Figaro despite the Count’s opposition; Cherubino’s hormonal outpourings; Figaro’s quick-witted ducking and diving in his attempts to hang on to Susanna and defeat the scheming machinations of Bartolo and Marcellina – all these elements are woven together with consummate skill.

Rated five stars by the Daily Telegraph.

Rated four stars by The Guardian.

Rated four stars by London Evening Standard.

"A visual and vocal treat" says Gramophone.

Sir George Christie has penned an article for The Guardian in which he looks back at the history of Le nozze di Figaro at Glyndebourne. Read it here.

A new production for the 2012 Festival

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

Supported by The Monument Trust

Filming supported by The Ann and Frederick O’Brien Charitable Trust

Co-Production with Houston Grand Opera and the Metropolitan Opera

Listen to Le nozze di Figaro podcast (20 mins)

A guide to Glyndebourne’s signature opera, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, with music from the live recording of our 1962 production. Presenter Peggy Reynolds explores the historical context of the opera, the politics behind its humour, and Mozart’s sublime music of rage and forgiveness. (Producer: Mair Bosworth)

Download this podcast (right click and select 'Save file as')

Associate Membership

Join Associate Membership to receive priority booking and a position on the waiting list for the Glyndebourne Festival Society.

Le nozze di Figaro

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The performance is captured live

This performance can be seen 12 October - 17 October

We want to share our work with as many people as possible. Broadcasts have been part of the Glyndebourne story since the 1930s, and in 2007 we were the first opera house in the UK to screen performances into cinemas.

Please note that intervals for all events are 30 minutes. For the many people now enjoying opera at the cinema, 30 minutes is a more realistic length of time to take a break. This means that we start our cinema transmissions a little after curtain-up at Glyndebourne and catch up for the second half.

Picture House

Act I

While his fiancée Susanna tries on a wedding bonnet, Figaro measures a room which she is dismayed to discover has been offered them by the Count. She points out its dangerous proximity should he seek her out during her husband’s absence; his offer of a dowry is in exchange for his ancient feudal rights. Figaro swears to frustrate him. 

As he leaves, his old enemy Bartolo and Bartolo’s former servant Marcellina enter, the latter with a marriage contract between her and Figaro to which they intend to hold him. Susanna’s entrance gives Marcellina the opportunity for some spiteful muttering. The two square up for a verbal combat. 

The page Cherubino turns up, miserable that he is to be sent away because the Count found him dallying with the gardener’s daughter, Barbarina. Seeing the Count approach, he hides behind a chair. 

The Count presses his proposal upon Susanna. Her gossipy singing teacher Basilio’s arrival forces him to hide behind the chair while Cherubino moves into it and is hidden beneath Susanna’s dress. Basilio’s mention of Cherubino gazing longingly at the Countess draws the Count out of hiding; demonstrating how he discovered Cherubino in Barbarina’s room, he finds him yet again! 

He is interrupted by the arrival of Figaro and a group of peasants praising him for abolishing the droit de seigneur. The Count sends Cherubino off to join his regiment.

Act II

The Countess laments her husband’s neglect. Susanna explains his financial offer. Figaro intends to send a cross-dressed Cherubino to meet the Count instead. Arriving in poor spirits, the page is prepared by Susanna for his meeting with the Count; she leaves to fetch her dress. As the Countess teases Cherubino about his crush on her, the Count’s arrival causes him to hide in the closet. Cherubino knocks something over; the Countess says it is Susanna who, unobserved, returns and hides behind a screen.

The Count demands that Susanna come out. He goes to fetch tools to open the door -- taking the Countess with him. Susanna releases Cherubino who escapes through the window while she enters the closet. Returning with her husband, the Countess confesses that Cherubino is inside. Both are nonplussed when Susanna emerges.

Figaro arrives. The gardener Antonio bursts in complaining about someone jumping from the window; Figaro claims it was him. The Count is relieved to see Bartolo, Marcellina and Basilio enter demanding that Figaro marry Marcellina or repay his debt. All ends in confusion.

Act III

In the hall laid out for festivities, the Count takes the opportunity to renew his proposal to Susanna. She appears to agree, until the Count overhears her telling Figaro that they have won their case. 

Alone, the Countess ponders her unhappy marriage. Meanwhile the court case to decide on Marcellina’s contract has been resolved in her favour. Figaro plays one last card – stolen as a baby from a respectable family, he requires his parents’ consent. In his description of his history and birthmark, Marcellina recognises Figaro as her long-lost son; Bartolo is his father. The family is reunited and Susanna and Marcellina reconciled.

Susanna and the Countess write to the Count inviting him to an assignation; a pin must be returned as acknowledgement. A group of peasant girls arrives offering flowers to the Countess; among them she recognises Cherubino; unfortunately, so does the Count. Slyly spilling the beans on the Count’s relationship with her, Barbarina’s plea for Cherubino to marry her forces him to agree. The wedding celebrations begin. Surreptitiously, Susanna passes the letter to the Count.

Act IV

That night in the garden, Barbarina laments losing the pin she was supposed to return to Susanna. Figaro and Marcellina realise its significance. Figaro prepares to interrupt the meeting.  Marcellina decides to forewarn Susanna. 

Barbarina enters and hides, soon followed by Figaro and his witnesses Bartolo and Basilio.  Disguised in each other’s clothes, Susanna and the Countess enter to ensnare the Count. 

Cherubino turns up, seeking Barbarina, but seeing (as he thinks) Susanna, he takes the opportunity to flirt with her. He is violently replaced by the Count before ‘Susanna’ makes her excuses. All is mayhem as the disguises confuse both the Count and (initially) Figaro, who is apparently caught trying to seduce the Countess.

The Count calls for arms. He refuses to forgive ‘the Countess’ for her infidelity until the real Countess enters and dumbfounds him. Begging forgiveness, he is pardoned.

George Hall

Creative team

Conductor Robin Ticciati
Director
Michael Grandage
Designer
Christopher Oram
Lighting Designer
Paule Constable
Movement Director
Ben Wright

Cast includes

Figaro Vito Priante
Susanna
Lydia Teuscher
Countess
Sally Matthews
Count
Audun Iversen
Bartolo
Andrew Shore
Marcellina
Ann Murray
Cherubino
Isabel Leonard
Don Basilio
Alan Oke
Antonio
Nicholas Folwell
Don Curzio
Colin Judson
Barbarina
Sarah Shafer

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

The Glyndebourne Chorus

Audio files: 

Extracts from Glyndebourne CD label recording of Le nozze di Figaro (1962).

This CD is available from the Glyndebourne Shop.

Figaro (Vito Priante). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher) and Figaro (Vito Priante). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher), Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Countess Almaviva (Sally Matthews), Susanna (Lydia Teuscher). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher), Cherubino (Isabel Leonard). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Don Basilio (Alan Oke), Susanna (Lydia Teuscher). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Don Basilio (Alan Oke), Susanna (Lydia Teuscher) and Count (Audun Iversen). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Don Basilio (Alan Oke), Count (Audun Iversen) and Susanna (Lydia Teuscher). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher), The Count (Audun Iversen), Cherubino (Isabel Leonard). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Countess Almaviva (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher) and Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher), Cherubino (Isabel Leonard) and Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Countess (Sally Matthews) and Susanna (Lydia Teuscher). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher), Cherubino (Isabel Leonard) and Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Countess (Sally Matthews), Cherubino (Isabel Leonard). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher), Count (Audun Iversen) and Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Count (Audun Iversen) and Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna, Figaro, Countess, Antonio and the Count. Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher), Figaro (Vito Priante), Marcellina (Ann Murray) and Bartolo (Andrew Shore). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Susanna (Lydia Teuscher) and Count (Audun Iversen). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Count Almaviva (Audun Iversen) and Susanna (Lydia Teuscher) . Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Count Almaviva (Audun Iversen). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
The ensemble cast celebrate the wedding of Figaro (Vito Priante) and Susanna (Lydia Teuscher). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Count (Audun Iversen) and Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Count (Audun Iversen) and Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Count (Audun Iversen) and Countess (Sally Matthews). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Figaro (Vito Priante) and Susanna (Lydia Teuscher). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Figaro (Vito Priante) and Susanna (Lydia Teuscher). Photo credit Alastair Muir.
Countess (Sally Matthews), Count (Audun Iversen) and Figaro (Vito Priante). Photo credit Alastair Muir.

Comments

Thank you so much. Of all the Figaros I have seen this was the greatest The sets alone worth the ticket price, especially perhaps the Act 4 one which is usually a gloomy woodland of sorts. How brilliant here. Superb Islamic designs.
Wonderful ensembles with ao much witty interacting. The Count a
glorious hippy character smoking his joint, and leaving it for others. The crowd scenes, Barbarella and all were so much more
exciting and relevant. They can be so static and dull.
Of course Mozart is the ultimate genius. how on earth can he achieve all this and yet still presumably be a mortal. How do you write such devastatingly beautiful music around a sharp
political libretto.
Despite the horrible summer the Gardens were more glorious than ever. Where else in this sad world could so much beauty be achieved and enjoyed ?

We saw Figaro last night and absolutely loved it . The more contemporary feel somehow allowed the cast to act and portray the characters more tellingly for me but maybe that was because we were thrilled to be in the front row. The singers were all superb,particularly Figaro (perfect!) and the Countess,beautiful and tragic. Good to see Ann Murray again, I have missed her in the Handel operas. Actually I do feel the car at the beginning was unnecessary and struck a discordant note. (I see it put somebody off coming altogether!).Didnt like the attempt at very contemporary dancing by some of the characters, if you choose a date please stick to it!. I have been lucky enough to have played under Robin Ticciati's baton so it was great to see him in action at close quarters. The carvery food was as usual super. What beef, a great treat . Thank you .

This was a very enjoyable evening. The music and the production were splendid, although the nature of the costumes was puzzling. In particular, the Count needs dignity mixed with a slightly threatening demeanour. His costume (and dreadful wig) made him appear more like a clown.

From the intelligently conducted (beautifully phrased and played) overture to the joyous bubbly finale - a wonderful performance - and I loved the production. The sets were a delight (I like the geranium pots under the window during the overture and the all-important chair being carried in, Antonio already on the bottle) and no irritating wifie with mop and bucket as in the current RoH version ... Probably the most convincing Cherubino I've ever seen - and intelligent interaction between all the cast throughout. (I agree with the comments about Figaro briefing Cherubino at end of Act 1 - makes perfect sense.)

So don't be put off by the car - this Figaro is a winner.

We have been coming to Glyndebourne for twenty years+. This was one of the best two or three performances we have been to, and by far the best Figaro we have seen anywhere. The sets were excellent, the costumes added to the humour, the singers were universally strong. I have rarely laughed out loud so much at an opera, the acting was excellent.
Very well done.

Wonderful evening,fantastic singing and such a witty production with witty subtitles.

What a wonderful evening. The weather was perfect as was the opera. We loved the production and the singing was sublime especially Lydia Teuscher as Susanna. My only criticism is that the rather dodgy sixties haircuts and costumes reminded me of my mis-spent youth.

Extremely enjoyable favourite of our favourite opera. The setting of the opera to the sixties was very enjoyable for us who were young back then. The cast was excellent. The performance of Isabel Leonard as Cherubino outstanding. Highly recommendable.

Ritva and Björn Falck

Absolutely magical. Sublime music, presented by hugely gifted musicians on sets which were rich in detail and full of atmosphere. Glyndebourne on top of the world - as usual.

We thoroughly enjoyed this production, which was witty, uncluttered, and made this complex plot, with all its misunderstandings and deceptions, wonderfully clear and understandable. BUT... I have three critical comments to make:
1. The ensemble pieces were beautifully sung (especially the cat-like rivalry duet between Susanna and Marcellina in Act I), but we came away feeling that not one of the principals could be described as a "great" singer: the Count lacked the incisive commanding edge that he needs to have; the Countess lacked serenity, and although her pianissimo intonation in the great two arias was initially spot on, her wide vibrato intruded, and her fortissimo outbursts were not always under control; Susanna's soprano was not fresh and youthful enough, nor was Figaro strong and energetic enough; oh dear... I am sounding like a perfectionist in search of the ultimate cast. Yes I am... (it would, incidentally, include Ann Murray). But this cast was not in general world-class, which surprised me.
2. Superb conducting and meticulous orchestral phrasing, but some failure to keep with the singers.
3. Sub-titles: poor, I thought. Incomplete, and also often giving the English translation of a joke before the italian had been sung. THIS IS A SOLECISM! (Ask Andrew Shore for his robust views on this phenomenon!)

But thank-you everyone - a wonderful day.

Where to start? A threatening sky on the way down, no knowledge of the reviews, a certain personal conviction that this is the best opera ever written, a sparkling moment on the front lawn, and then to our seats. Business on-stage during the overture, and then the characters, marvellously delineated. Susanna and Figaro both fantastic (I agree the girl always wins in such a competition, but an outstanding Figaro, none the less). The Count was true to character, and sang very well. Just at the end of Act 1, a magical moment: Figaro dispatches Cherubino, but as the act closes, and the scene turns, he recalls Cherubino to sit with him and plot the future. It makes so much sense because Cherubino reappears almost immediately in Act 11.
The lighting in Act 11, evocative with the Countess's gown partly reflected in the wall decoration. Was the dress Art Deco or 60s? Cherubino's leap, I half expected to the left, but it was obviously to the right, because that was where the reflection from the window was evident on the wall, but only after after it was opened. We survived dinner with only a few drops, and returned to a noisier, happier house for the second half. Act 1V much brighter than usual, the action easier to follow. Music glorious (ignore my prejudices cited above); the car was OK, but I'm still musing about the Barbarella girls.

This was one of the best productions we have seen at Glyndebourne. The singing/acting, the orchestra and the setting all worked very well,making an integrated and coherent production that gave much pleasure. For a first night success it can only get better. Congratulations all round.

The orchestral playing and singing was terrific as were the sets and lighting and the opera is always a joy. However I was disappointed with the production The updating to the 1960s made little sense and for the first time ever I had no sympathy with the characters as they were portrayed, I kept thinking back to earlier productions in oder to salvage something of that element of the production.

I now never book for a new production after the appalling updatings of mad directors, particularly the multiplication of witches in caravans in Macbeth. (Thank goodness for Peter Hall)
I had high hopes of the new Figaro but after mention of a car I shall give it a miss. Thank you for publishing these comments to warn me. I go to Glyndebourne for the visual exprience as well as the music, which I can always hear on CD or radio3.

We really enjoyed the performance of "Le Nozze" - the singing ands acting were superb. Our one reservation is that there is no need for such overt sexuality. It seems to be the norm these days in all art forms - totally unnecessary!

This is Glyndebourne at its best. Brilliant sets and an excellently staged production. The Countess, Susanna, Cherubino and Figaro all sang and performed very well. As to costumes - as one who remembers some of the ridiculous 60's fashion, one might call them very authentic. The 'silly car' - it was an Austin Healey and I can never agree to that being called a silly car (but perhaps it was a little unnecessary).!
A most entertaining and memorable evening in sunshine - isn't that what Glynbebourne is all about.

The staging was the best I have ever seen for a Mozart opera.

The sur-titles were by far the I have ever seen.

We thought the production was magical last night and for us,the best operatic experience of the year. Clearly Robin
Ticciati is going to become an outstanding Music Director.

An opening night is always a delight to attend and Glyndebourne put on a lovely evening for us. It was not the best production of Le Nozze di Figaro we have seen here, but very enjoyable. Figaro was superb and Cherubino fantastic but some of the other voices didn't go well together. We liked the acting it created the right atmosphere but the costumes could have been better.

Our second trip to Glyndebourne this year and we look forward to seeing Le Nozze di Figaro on tour later this year.

The production was wonderful. Uniformly excellent cast in harmony with the conductor and the orchestra. What acting! Only negative, the ridiculous random costumes that really distracted at times (well and that silly car). We came out buoyed with joy.

I have seen Figaro many, many times and fully agree with Anon 29th July. Visually, the update added nothing to the story - merely confused and detracted from the characters. Most of the characters were unconvincing. The Count should have a commanding presence which wasn't helped with the inelegant and inapropriate modern dancing. Most of the cast would benefit from a few lessons in deportment. The music - of course - is shere heaven. Many thanks to the conductor and orchestra.

This production is another triumph for Michael Grandage following on his magnificent Billy Budd at Glyndebourne. He has seamlessly migrated from drama on the stage to directing operas. I have seen many productions of this opera but none will stand out as this one will. Unlike many directors transferring from straight drama he seems to have a natural understanding of the special demands that an opera makes of its performers.

Each character is beautifully delineated. He has drawn a first class ensemble acting performance from the singers without in any way requiring them to do things that would prejudice the quality of their singing. Most importantly of all he has captured the spirit of this most perfect of operas. Congratulations too, for a first class performance from all the musicians, both on and off the stage.

This was the best production we have ever seen of Figaro. The sets were marvellous. Perhaps the car was unnecessary. The singing was superb.

Alfred Young

We loved the production; Michael Grandage's direction was, as always, highly intelligent and brilliantly staged; Christopher Oram's set design and Paule Constable's lighting were both accomplished.

Cherubino stood out as exceptional in a strong, even cast. We have seen Figaro at least fifteen times and this was among the best productions, for us, to date.

Glyndebourne continues to enchant in every way except for its execrable visual arts programme, which is at best patchy and at worst unprofessional and poor. Given the strength of today's visual artists in the UK, it is hard to understand why the visual arts programme isn't of the calibre of Glyndebourne's operatic programme.

A memorable evening. We thought that the production and sets were very effective and that the singing and conducting were of a high order, particularly the performances of Susanna and Cherubino. It was a shame that the opera is not given complete - the arias of Marcellina and Don Basilio in the final act were omitted.

One crit put me off a bit but what do they know! Saw it last night. It was an excellent fresh production with marvellous scenery and lighting, superb singing with perahps the odd exception and an orchestra in fine form. The audience obviously liked it as much as we did.

Wonderful production, Wonderful voices, clever sets.
The best production we have seen at Glynebourne.
Conductor Maestro Ticciat's light touch keeps it coming all evening
Keep it coming!

Fantastic production. One of the best I have seen. Impressive sets. Not entirely convinced by the 70's update, but it generally worked well. Excellent singing, especially Suzanna, the Countess and Cherubino.

A word of warning: they shut the A23 northbound at Handscross completely in mid evening, so anybody going to London after the performance should avoid at all costs. Added at least 90 minutes to the journey. Supposed to last until 3 july, but no warning.

Thoroughly enjoyable performance! Especially liked the lighting &costume colours on stage. The singing & music were magical. Not too many surtitles to read either. One of our favouite evenings at Glyndebourne, inspite of the weather!

Bar the counts comedic costumes the production was as usual fantastic. Sally Matthews stood out as the countess. Love.

What a festival so far! And another superb and imaginative production on Wednesday evening with the first night of the Marriage of Figaro. Adored every moment: spectacular set; exquisite voices in Susanna and the countess and very exciting to catch a glimpse of things to come in Ticciati's conducting. Not so sure about the constant clapping from the audience though; wonderful enthusiasm and occasionally it's called for, but this was incessant and tends to be intrusive. The Hopkins auditorium triumphed yet again and provided wonderful sightlines and acoustics. All in all a magical evening. Bravo to Glyndebourne and the Christies for the very high standards they continue to achieve.

Regards,
Alice

I have been lucky enough to have seen Operas at Glyndebourne since I was a schoolboy in the 1960's. The current Le Nozze di Figaro ranks as one of the productions I have seen at Glyndebourne - bravo. The audience all round me were very enthusiastic too. The Telegraph reviewer was right it deserves 5 Stars. Keep up the good work. I think we are in good hands with Robin Ticciati.

I agree with the review in The Times. The production was confused, the costumes most unappealing and the singing variable. The star was Cherubino, a lovely voice and attractive interpretation of the role. As for the Count? The only thing that worked well in my view was the garden scene - always a difficult part to stage well. I left rather disppointed and unimpressed.

A superb Figaro - a good production of such a great opera always yields new insights - Figaro's sympathy for Cherubino once the count had left at the end of Act 1 really took me by surprise. Loved Sally Matthews' Countess and Ann Murray was the best Marcellina I can remember. The setting worked so well - a great night - thanks

faultless Good production. Singers sang ans acted well. Orchestra played well.Imaginative use of the revolving stage.

Psrking is well controlled when you arive but the exit still needs to improve with more stewarts.

We took my parents last night for my father's 80th birthday present. The production was a highlight of my father's presents and we had a wonderful time. My father,who has been to many operas, thought last night's performance was magical. We agree and the production was one of the best we have seen at Glyndebourne. Congratulations to everyone who contributed to a fabulous performance.

I haven't enjoyed a Glyndebourne production as much for several years - it was a real delight in every way (and not a dreaded radiator in sight!) The singing was first class and some of it truly exceptional. An evening to remember and I can't wait to see the production again.

Great production! Wonderful directing. We relly enjoyed this evening. Susanna led a terrific cast. And Maestro Ticciati's conducting was elegant and inspiring.
Thank you for another memorable evening at Glyndebourne
Ella and Oded Gera

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

my wife and I are very grateful and happy that you and the Guardian will stream Le Nozze di Figaro on 17th August
because we will not be able to travel this year from Germany to Glyndebourne.

Figaro was the first opera we heard in Glyndebourne in 1976. We were so captivated that on the following day we drove from our hotel to Glyndebourne to see whether we could obtain tickets also for the next performance. We were lucky.

On my homepage www.juergenbay.de there is a short text in English by myself on Barbarina's (in my opinion under-estimated) cavatina at the beginning of the fourth act.
I submit an interpretation which differs from the one given
by Einstein in his great book on Mozart.

Sincerely yours
Jürgen Bay

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

We welcome your comments on our site. Please note that Glyndebourne reserves the right to remove comments which are deemed inappropriate.

CAPTCHA
This question is to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Why is there a time limit?

Due to demand from other customers seats are reserved for a maximum of 20 minutes in order to allow you to complete your purchase. If the order has not been completed within this time, all seats will be removed from your basket.