Le Nozze di Figaro was composed in 1786, based on a stage play by Pierre Beaumarchais, and is subtitled La folle journée, or the day of madness. After writing this successful opera, Mozart reused musical phrases within the overture to Cosi fan tutte, the second act of Don Giovanni and within the Agnus Dei of his Coronation Mass. In recent years, the opera The Ghosts of Versailles used elements from both Beaumarchais and Mozart. Recycling was in fashion long before we thought about it!
This would lead me to say that everything old is new again, and that would certainly be true of this opera. The themes of loves folly and fidelity are as much a part of our romantic journeys as they were in Mozart’s day. The lovesick Cherubino, the arrogant Count, the long suffering Countess and the sexually harassed Susannah can be found in any of today’s entertainments or in the next cubicle at your office.
I’m often asked, “What do you want the audience to take away from this performance?” My answer to that is always, “What they wish!” My task and joy as a director is to tell the story well and let the audience find their own moments of identification. Whether you see this opera when you are about to become engaged, are recovering from a nasty break-up or are celebrating a loving long-standing relationship, you will find your own messages. That’s the timelessness of great art and it’s always worth ‘recycling.’
I look forward to making my Florentine opera debut with the spectacular work!