Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Count's Aria: Hai Gia Vinta La Causa - Staging Details


Count is sitting at his desk… It should have lots of (unbreakable) trinkets, including a dagger. Basilio comes up to him and whispers in his ear…


“Hai gia vinta la causa!?” Look incredibly surprised…


“Cosa Sento?” Count gets up from his desk...


“In qual laccio io cadea?” Count puts his hand(s) to his face…


“Perfidi!” Knocks over everything on the table…. (preferable if the word is shouted rather than spoken)


(Figaro, Susanna, and Antonio rush in)


“Io Voglio” Points his fingers at audience and shakes his fist…


“Di tal modo punirvi” Turns and points to Figaro…


“A piacer mio la sentenza sarà” Maniacal look on the Count’s face, as though he’s getting off on his own anger. (find appropriate vocal color to go with it, possibly a whisper)...


“Ma s'ei pagasse la vecchia pretendente?” Sits back down at his desk. Puts hand to his head… Figaro and Susanna go over to clean up the mess the Count just made. No matter where anything else is placed, the dagger has to go to the far side of the desk.


“Pagarla!? In qual maniera!?” Says while laughing…


“E poi v'è Antonio, che a un incognito Figaro ricusa, di dare una nipote in matrimonio.” Gets up, goes over to Antonio, puts his arm around Antonio’s shoulder. Antonio seethes with anger….


“Tutto giova a un raggiro!...” Stands over Figaro. Figaro ignores him.


“il colpo è fatto.” Shouts over Figaro again, this time with his hands cupped, Figaro still ignores him.


(goes into the aria… while Figaro is cleaning up, the Count kicks him in the ribs until Figaro is lying flat on his back. The Count puts his shoe over Figaro’s neck.)


“Vedrò mentre io sospiro, felice un servo mio!?” Looks down at Figaro while he says it...


“E un ben ch'invan desio,..” Looks over at Susanna with tenderness, his voice softens...


“ei posseder dovrà?” Hardens into anger again and looks at Figaro…


“Vedrò per man d'amore, unita a un vile oggetto, chi in me destò un affetto, che per me poi non ha?” Looks at Antonio with his hands out, as though to reason with him. Antonio is still stunned…


“Vedrò mentre io sospiro, felice un servo mio!” Count walks over to Susanna, who’s still bent down over the mess to avoid trouble…. Figaro gets up...


“E un ben ch'invan desio, ei posseder dovrà?” Gestures at Susanna to Figaro…


“Vedrò per man d'amore,” Count gets on his knees next to Susanna…


“unita a un vile oggetto,” Count extends his hands to Susanna…


“chi in me destò un affetto, che per me poi non ha? che per me poi non ha?” They stand like this for both iterations of “che per me poi non ha?”...


“Vedro? Vedro? Vedro? Vedro?” The Count gets up and Susanna gets up with him. Still holding hands…


“Ah no, lasciarti in pace, non vo' questo contento!” Count grabs Susanna’s hair and drags her to the farthest corner of his desk. Figaro, Antonio, and Basilio start moving in... Their backs should be to the audience...


“tu non nascesti, audace,” Reaches for the dagger…


“tu non nascesti, audace,” produces it... Figaro, Antonio, and Basilio start moving back… backs still to the audience...


“per dare a me tormento, e forse ancor per ridere di mia infelicità.” puts the dagger to Susanna’s neck, backs her into the corner of the room….


“Già la speranza sola, delle vendette mie, quest'anima consola, e giubilar mi fa.” Starts pointing the dagger at all the other people in the room...

“Già la speranza sola, delle vendette mie,” his dagger arm moves around Susanna’s neck…


“quest'anima consola, e giubilar mi fa.” Count reaches behind Susanna and puts his hand into private areas. Susanna should visibly and audibly be in pain. This should continue for the duration of the Count’s singing.


At the end of the aria, the Count reaches into his pocket and produces large coins which he throws at Susanna. He then smells his hand ostentatiously while looking at Figaro, and storms out.

During the narration, Susanna is left silently sobbing, Figaro comes over to console her. But Basilio shows them the coins, and they realize that there is enough money there to pay Marcellina’s dowry so they can get married. What was agony a second ago becomes something approaching joy. And Basilio laughs, more mischief accomplished.

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