Saturday, February 1, 2014

Voi Signor Che Giusto Siete - Staging Notes

Figaro is sitting on the bed after having claimed to hurt his foot. The Countess and Susanna are on either side of him. Enter Marcellina, Bartolo and Basilio, jogging in as though they’re three old people in a hurry. “Voi signor, che giusto siete! Ci dovete ascoltar.”

The Count clasps his hands together in relief and joy. “Son venuti a vendicarmi io mi sento a consolar.”

Figaro forgets about his foot and immediately gets up and runs to the middle of the room. “Son tre stolidi, tre pazzi!” They pretend to look shocked. “Cosa mai vengono a far?” Susanna goes over to restrain Figaro and bring him back.

(at Windup) Basilio motions for a waiter to come up to the front, and orders four glasses of champagne with his fingers. Meanwhile, Marcellina gives the Count the marriage contract. The Count says, with much smarminess “Pian pianin, senza schiamazzi. Dica ognun quel che gli par.”

She says at his side. “Un impegno nuziale ha costui con me contratto. E pretendo che il contratto deva meco effettuar.” (curtseys as she goes back to the side) Susanna runs up to “Come! Come!”, then goes back to Figaro and starts arguing with him. Making motions that basically tell him he’s an idiot, because she knows there’s no way he would be in love with Marcellina, and there is nothing in the text which shows that she had any idea that this was coming.

“Olà!” The Count puts up his hands intimidatingly. “silenzio, silenzio, silenzio.”  Then gradually puts them down, looking like Jesus at the Last Supper, then clasps them together as if in prayer. Io son qui per giudicar.”

Bartolo steps forward with a law book, points down to a page in it.“Io da lei scelto avvocato vengo a far le sue difese, le legittime pretese, io qui vengo a palesar.” Bows to the Count.

The Countess runs up this time. “È un birbante!”

As the Count does his second “Ola! Silenzio”, the Countess points to the corner of the room, as though she’s ordering Bartolo to step back. Bartolo bows sardonically to her, then does so.

Basilio’s hands are clasped together. Io, com'uom al mondo cognito vengo qui per testimonio del promesso matrimonio con prestanza di danar.

All three of them advance on the middle of the stage. “Son tre matti.”

During the last “Ola! Silenzio.”, the Count gradually buries his head in the document and walks over to the chair on Marcellina’s side and sits down in it. The other three on that side crowd around him.

The Countess, Figaro, and Susanna retreat to their side. “Son confusa/o, son stordita/o,” Figaro tries to console Susanna, she won’t let him. Hits him in order to go away. The Countess sits on the bed. Susanna goes behind the ‘scrim’ in case she cries, Figaro goes to the closet door and looks panicked. Otherwise, let the music take over here.

“Ma che lume.” Susanna goes up to them and Marcellina holds the contract up to her. She takes it over to Figaro. “Voi Promiso” Figaro tries to fold it in his pocket, and produces another contract out of another pocket to return to them. He gives it to Marcellina, but Basilio sees what he did, steps up, and pulls the other contract out of the correct pocket.

Second tempo change. Marcellina runs over and grabs the wedding hat which Susanna is still holding while she’s not looking. Susanna doesn’t realize it for a moment. Susanna then runs over with Figaro behind her trying to restrain her, unsuccessfully. Susanna chases Marcellina, with Figaro chasing Susanna, and Basilio and Bartolo chasing Figaro to see what’s going on. Eventually, Marcellina leaves the room, and everybody leaves after her.

The Count simply stays in the chair the whole time, delighted, while his wife lies on the bed and curls up into fetal position.

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