Saturday, February 8, 2014

Figaro Second Act - Second Narration

(Count chases Cherubino again into the room)

But the Countess still has one admirer whose ardor hasn’t cooled and still hasn’t resorted to underhanded tactics to control her life, even if he eventually might try. Cherubino still hasn’t left yet for the army. Figaro told him not to, and we’ll have more on why in a few minutes. In the meantime, please allow me one more thought on Cherubino before we listen to Voi Che Sapete, his Top 40 song from the 1786 hit parade,

Many times, authors leave an imprint of their identity in their characters. Who can read about the author of the original play, Pierre de Beaumarchais, a provincial peasant who by sheer brilliance and charisma lifted himself from poverty to the highest echelons of enlightened society and thought, and not see Figaro? Who can look at the man who adopted the play for the opera’s text, Lorenzo da Ponte, a Jewish convert who became a priest who was then defrocked for the hypocrisy of being caught in bed with a woman, and not see Don Basilio? In the same way, who can look at Cherubino (Cherubino reaches for the guitar on the bed), this young angel with a clear musical talent, beloved of the Countesses and their chambermaids alike, a terrible thorn in the side of stuffy aristocrats, and not see the young Mozart, surrounded by older women who shower him with affection and sit in awe of his angelic gifts?

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