Pittsburgh Opera presents Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro

Mozart’s screwball comedy returns to the Benedum for the first time in seven years
Pittsburgh Opera presents Mozart’s beloved madcap comedy The Marriage of Figaro, at the Benedum Center November 4th -12th.
Figaro is in love with the Countess’s servant Susanna, who he plans to wed that very day. However, their employer Count Almaviva has his eye on Susanna. In fact, the Count intends to invoke the hated feudal practice of droit de seigneur – the infamous right of the lord to sleep with a commoner’s bride on her wedding night. Figaro, Susanna, and the Countess are understandably outraged at this possibility, and are determined not only to prevent it, but to teach the Count a lesson while they’re at it.
The cast includes a quartet of talented American singers making their Pittsburgh Opera debuts plus some returning favorites.
Debuting are bass-baritone Tyler Simpson, a mainstay at the Metropolitan Opera, as Figaro; star soprano Joélle Harvey, singing the famously challenging role of Susanna; baritone Christian Bowers, who recently sang in Bordeaux and Malta, as philandering Count Almaviva; and eight-year Met Opera veteran bass Brian Kontes as the scheming, meddling Dr. Bartolo.

Pittsburgh’s own Danielle Pastin brings her “lovely demeanor and irresistibly creamy timbre” (Opera News) to the touching role of Countess Almaviva, and recent Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist Corrie Stallings makes her triumphant return to the Benedum as the irrepressible Cherubino.
Music Director Antony Walker conducts the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra and Chorus in this traditional 18th-century production.
On stage November 4, 7, 10 & 12, The Marriage of Figaro has been entertaining audiences around the world for hundreds of years. Tickets start at just $12 and are available online.
Fun facts about The Marriage of Figaro
  1. Thanks to its abundant use in pop culture, virtually everyone knows the music from The Marriage of Figaro. The overture has been used in movies including Trading Places, The King’s Speech, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Zombieland. Tim Robbins’ character famously played “Sull ‘aria” over the prison loudspeaker in The Shawshank Redemption, despite knowing the malicious warden would put him in solitary confinement for it.
  2. The Marriage of Figaro was the second of three plays in a trilogy written by Pierre Beaumarchais in the 1700s, all of which have been turned into operas. While it and The Barber of Seville – the first of the three – continue to be operatic mainstays hundreds of years after they were written, the third (The Guilty Mother) is rarely performed.
  3. Although it may seem hard to believe given its enduring popularity, The Marriage of Figaro (the play) was initially banned from being performed by French King Louis XVI, and opera librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte had to rework certain elements of the play to get the opera approved by Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II.
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