The Marriage of Figaro, first performed in 1786, is arguably Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s most overtly political opera. It is based on a drama by radical French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais.
The struggle against aristocratic privilege it depicts clearly foreshadows the great French revolution of 1789.
The opera is filled with a sense of indignation against class rule and it expresses the 18th century Enlightenment’s optimism – the possibility of progress and a new, more just society. It also contains some of Mozart’s most glorious arias (solos), which express the full range of human emotion.
David McVicar’s new production is part of the anniversary celebrations marking 250 years since Mozart’s birth. It bubbles with wit and imagination. But it is not clear why he sets the opera in a French chateau in the run-up to the revolution of 1830.
The singing is in general superb, with fine performances from Erwin Schrott as Figaro, Miah Persson as Susanna, Gerald Finley as the count and Dorothea Roschmann as the countess. The orchestra does justice to Mozart’s brilliant score.
The Marriage of Figaro
Directed by David McVicar
Royal Opera House, London
Until 6 July
020 7304 4000