If the characters you just met are us. Then the characters you’re about to meet are whom we should all be afraid of turning into.
(Enter Bartolo and Marcellina to the Allegro section from Mozart Symphony no 38 - should be one and a half minutes, or less with cuts, and take us to right to the B-section in A-major, where Bartolo comes in with ‘Bene’)
As they face the final act of their lives, these two characters have grown so self-centered and bitter that their greatest happiness comes from preventing the happiness of others. Three years ago, the Count’s wife was merely the ward of Doctor Bartolo, and he kept her a virtual prisoner in his house so that she would never meet another man and marry him instead. And sadly, this was a fairly common practice once upon a time. One day, the Count saw her staring longingly from the good Doctor’s balcony, and resolved to win her away from Bartolo's prying hands - but he needed a help from a much cleverer man in order to do so - and procured the services of Figaro, a barber, dentist, pharmacist, and general intriguer about town. In exchange for Figaro's service, the Count gave Figaro permanent employment as his valet. Three years later, the Countess’s governess, Marcellina, had the same idea. Figaro, like so many of us, was in terrible debt and needed money immediately. Marcellina loaned him a sum so long as he signed a contract promising to marry him if he couldn’t pay her back. Even though it's Figaro and Susanna's wedding day and Figaro's clearly in love with her, Marcellina still has every intention of making Figaro honor his contract.