The Marriage of Figaro is one of the repertoire’s most iconic works. Brahms spoke of it as a “miracle” and the Countess’s lament remains one of the most heart-rending musical pages of all time. By taking up Beaumarchais’ comedy, which had caused a scandal to shake Parisian society, Mozart and Da Ponte’s success was secured. The play had even been banned by Joseph II in 1785 at Theatre of Vienna. Did it shine too much light on the contradictions of an already faltering regime, ready to collapse with the French Revolution?
Netia Jones’ new production retains the very essence of Beaumarchais’ play as she humorously yet mischievously explores human relationships in a universe that confuses reality and fiction to the point of asking, like the Count: “Are we playing in a comedy?”