The Baroque era Opera did not remain confined to court audiences for long.

In 1637, the idea of a "season" (Carnival) of publicly attended operas supported by ticket sales emerged in Venice. Monteverdi had moved to the city from Mantua and composed his last operas, Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria and L'incoronazione di Poppea, for the Venetian theatre in the 1640s. His most important follower Francesco Cavalli helped spread opera throughout Italy. In these early Baroque operas, broad comedy was blended with tragic elements in a mix that jarred some educated sensibilities, sparking the first of opera's many reform movements, sponsored by Venice's Arcadian Academy which came to be associated with the poet Metastasio, whose libretti helped crystallize the genre of opera seria, which became the leading form of Italian opera until the end of the 18th century. Once the Metastasian ideal had been firmly established, comedy in Baroque-era opera was reserved for what came to be called opera buffa. Before such elements were forced out of opera seria, many libretti had featured a separately unfolding comic plot as sort of an "opera-within-an-opera." One reason for this was an attempt to attract members of the growing merchant class, newly wealthy, but still less cultured than the nobility, to the public opera houses. These separate plots were almost immediately resurrected in a separately developing tradition that partly derived from the commedia dell'arte, a long-flourishing improvisatory stage tradition of Italy. Just as intermedi had once been performed in-between the acts of stage plays, operas in the new comic genre of "intermezzi", which developed largely in Naples in the 1710s and '20s, were initially staged during the intermissions of opera seria. They became so popular, however, that they were soon being offered as separate productions. Opera seria was elevated in tone and highly stylised in form, usually consisting of secco recitative interspersed with long da capo arias. These afforded great opportunity for virtuosic singing and during the golden age of opera seria the singer really became the star. The role of the hero was usually written for the castrato voice; castrati such as Farinelli and Senesino, as well as female sopranos such as Faustina Bordoni, became in great demand throughout Europe as opera seria ruled the stage in every country except France. Indeed, Farinelli was the most famous singer of the 18th century. Italian opera set the Baroque standard. Italian libretti were the norm, even when a German composer like Handel found himself writing for London audiences. Italian libretti remained dominant in the classical period as well, for example in the operas of Mozart, who wrote in Vienna near the century's close. Leading Italian-born composers of opera seria include Alessandro Scarlatti, Vivaldi and Porpora.[7] Reform: Gluck, the attack on the Metastasian ideal, and Mozart Opera seria had its weaknesses and critics. The taste for embellishment on behalf of the superbly trained singers, and the use of spectacle as a replacement for dramatic purity and unity drew attacks. Francesco Algarotti's Essay on the Opera (1754) proved to be an inspiration for Christoph Willibald Gluck's reforms. He advocated that opera seria had to return to basics and that all the various elements—music (both instrumental and vocal), ballet, and staging—must be subservient to the overriding drama. Several composers of the period, including Niccolò Jommelli and Tommaso Traetta, attempted to put these ideals into practice. The first to succeed however, was Gluck. Gluck strove to achieve a "beautiful simplicity". This is evident in his first reform opera, Orfeo ed Euridice, where his non-virtuosic vocal melodies are supported by simple harmonies and a richer orchestra presence throughout. Gluck's reforms have had resonance throughout operatic history. Weber, Mozart and Wagner, in particular, were influenced by his ideals. Mozart, in many ways Gluck's successor, combined a superb sense of drama, harmony, melody, and counterpoint to write a series of comedies, notably Così fan tutte, The Marriage of Figaro, and Don Giovanni (in collaboration with Lorenzo Da Ponte) which remain among the most-loved, popular and well-known operas today. But Mozart's contribution to opera seria was more mixed; by his time it was dying away, and in spite of such fine works as Idomeneo and La clemenza di Tito, he would not succeed in bringing the art form back to life again.[8] Agrippina (opera) Agrippina (HWV 6) is an opera seria in three acts by George Frideric Handel, from a libretto by Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani. Composed for the 1709–10 Venice Carnevale season, the opera tells the story of Agrippina, the mother of Nero, as she plots the downfall of the Roman Emperor Claudius and the installation of her son as emperor. Grimani's libretto, considered one of the best that Handel set, is an "anti-heroic satirical comedy",[1] full of topical political allusions. Some analysts believe that it reflects the rivalry of Grimani with Pope Clement XI. Handel composed Agrippina at the end of a three-year visit to Italy. It premiered in Venice at the Teatro San Giovanni Grisostomo on 26 December 1709, and was an immediate success. From its opening night it was given a then-unprecedented run of 27 consecutive performances, and received much critical acclaim. Observers were full of praise for the quality of the music—much of which, in keeping with the contemporary custom, had been borrowed and adapted from other works, including some from other composers. Despite the evident public enthusiasm for

transposed into Alessandro Scarlatti's opera Pirro è Dimitrio which was performed in London on 6 December 1710. at that time there was little difference (apart from increasing length) between cantata. it was written very rapidly after Handel's arrival in Venice in November 1709.[3][4] The opera was not particularly successful. Nero and Narcissus. There were occasional productions in the years following its premiere but. Handel did not promote further stagings. the "superstars of their day" in Italian opera. [9][10] He made Handel his protégé. no. Galatea e Polifemo. were written for castrati.[3] In 1706 he travelled to Italy where he remained for three years.[13] This adapting and borrowing was common practice at the time. with additional music provided by other composers. Arcangelo Corelli and Jean-Baptiste Lully.[2] The opera was revised significantly before and possibly during its run. where the performance of opera was forbidden by Papal decree. In recent years performances of the work have become more common.[18] Echoes of "Ti vo' giusta" (one of the few arias composed specifically for Agrippina) can be found in the air "He was despised".[14] and all but five of the vocal numbers. it and his other dramatic works were generally forgotten.[6][7] Works from this period include Dixit Dominus.the work. in many cases after significant adaptation and reworking. which is based on Lucifer's aria from La resurrezione (1708). and where his first Italian opera was composed and performed. and probably his last composition in Italy.[4] This was Rodrigo (1707. Handel spent time in Rome. and parts of Nero's Act 3 aria "Come nube che fugge dal vento" are borrowed Handel's oratorio Il trionfo del tempo (all from 1707). It has been surmised that Handel took the libretto to Naples where he set it to music.[12] Composing Agrippina In composing the opera Handel borrowed extensively from his earlier oratorios and cantatas. some of Agrippina's music was used by Handel in his London operas Rinaldo (1711) and the 1732 version of Acis and Galatea. at his family-owned theatre. probably through Alessandro Scarlatti. a character who does not appear in Monteverdi's darker version. when Handel's operas fell out of fashion in the mid-18th century. learning the Italian style of music and developing his compositional skills. Handel's first biographer. and gave him his libretto for Agrippina. but Grimani's libretto centred on Agrippina. but its extent in Agrippina is greater than in almost all the composer's other major dramatic works. original title Vincer se stesso ê la maggior vittoria). ch'io non apprezzo".[13] The overture. as the subject of Monteverdi's 1642 opera L'incoronazione di Poppea.[19] Two of the main male roles. which was itself adapted from Reinhard Keiser's 1705 opera Octavia. saw Agrippina premiered in Britain and in America. but he was dissatisfied with the music . full of freshness and musical invention which have made it one of the most popular operas of the continuing Handel revival. 1704–06. are based on earlier works.[16] The first music by Handel heard in London may have been Agrippina's "Non hò che".[4] After Florence.[2]  Composition history Handel's earliest opera compositions.[17] The Agrippina overture and other arias from the opera appeared in pasticcios performed in London between 1710 and 1714.[11] Grimani arranged to present the opera in Venice. from Handel's Messiah (1742). oratorio and opera. and from other composers including Reinhard Keiser. almost entirely unadapted.[20] For example. date from his Hamburg years. and the dramatic cantata Aci. as part of the 1709–10 Carnevale season. with innovative stagings at the New York City Opera and the London Coliseum in 2007. after productions in Germany. written in Naples. oh Dio (1707).[12] Examples of recycled material include Pallas's "Col raggio placido". in the German style. the Teatro San Giovanni Grisostomo.[9] This was Handel's second Italian opera. "O voi dell' Erebo". [5] and in Naples.[15] Later. according to John Mainwaring. in each case with little or no change. in which the Hamburg and Mattheson influences remained prominent. Agrippina's aria "Non hò cor che per amarti" was taken. Modern critical opinion is that Agrippina is Handel's first operatic masterpiece. from "Se la morte non vorrà" in Handel's earlier dramatic cantata Qual ti reveggio.[2] A similar story had been used before. Tirsi e Fileno. in Act III Handel originally had Otho and Poppaea sing a duet. and acted as an unofficial theatrical agent for the Italian royal courts. which are all based on the alternation of secco recitative and aria da capo. but was part of Handel's process of learning to compose opera in the Italian style and to set Italian words to music. which is a French-style two-part work with a "thrilling" allegro. "No. under the influence of Johann Mattheson. He was able to apply himself to the composition of cantata and oratorio. Clori. Handelian opera began a revival which.[8] The Cardinal was a distinguished diplomat who wrote libretti in his spare time. This theory is supported by the autograph manuscript's Venetian paper. Handel had become acquainted with Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani.[8] However. In the 20th century. Initially he stayed in Florence where he was introduced to Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti. While in Rome. Narcissus's "Spererò" is an adaptation of "Sai perchè" from another 1707 cantata.

[37] In Britain. [14] Between 1713 and 1724 there were productions of Agrippina in Naples. during the run Poppaea's aria "Ingannata" was replaced with another of extreme virtuosity. amatory character of the Emperor Claudius is a caricature of Pope Clement XI. and the performance was conducted by Antonio Pedrotti. Both were in Germany. with the sole exception of Claudius's servant Lesbus. and established Handel's international reputation. Oxfordshire. presented as broad satire. two oboes.[31] The Radio Audizioni Italiane produced a live radio broadcast of the opera on 25 October 1953. for a performance under Christopher Hogwood at the Teatro Malibran.[9] The date of Agrippina's first performance.[28] The Naples production included additional music by Francesco Mancini."[23] Libretto Grimani's libretto avoids the "moralizing" tone of the later opera seria libretti written by acknowledged masters such as Metastasio and Zeno.[33] In the United States a concert performance had been given on 16 February 1972 at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. including a 2002 "ultramodern" staging by director Lillian Groag at the New York City Opera. three violins. Handel's operas fell into obscurity. In 1983 the opera returned to Venice. according to critic Donald Jay Grout. The cast included Magda László in the title role and Mario Petri as Claudius.[25] Handel's biographer John Mainwaring wrote of the first performance: "The theatre at almost every pause resounded with shouts of Viva il caro Sassone! ('Long live the beloved Saxon!') They were thunderstruck with the grandeur and sublimity of his style." [27] Many others recorded overwhelmingly positive responses to the work. in 1963. Claudius". two cellos. was changed into a bass accompanied by English horns. although Handel himself never revived the opera after its initial run. [21] Again. owe much to Grimani's work in which "irony. deception and intrigue pervade the humorous escapades of its well-defined characters.[12] The favourable reception given to the opera may. with a concert performance at Alice Tully Hall.[34] but the opera's first fully staged American performance was in Fort Worth. revived in 2007.[2][33] In 1965 it was performed at Ledlanet. composed for a woman. the first was in the Schlosstheater Schwetzingen. for they had never known till then all the powers of harmony and modulation so closely arranged and forcibly combined. "with calamitous effects on the delicate balance and texture of the score". promoted two major productions of Agrippina in 1985 and 1991 respectively. and consists of two recorders. are historical."[3] All the main characters.. Scotland. to whom Grimani was politically opposed. [20] The instrumentation for Handel's score follows closely that of all his early operas.[9] [edit] Contemporary revivals There have been numerous productions in the 21st century. the opera still being described at that time as a "genuine rarity". Hamburg.[30] However. has been confirmed by a manuscript newsletter as 26 December 1709. beginning with a 1943 production at Handel's birthplace. to flatter Scarabelli by giving her further opportunity to show off her vocal abilities. either to emphasise Poppaea's new-found resolution at this juncture of the opera or.[33] The so-called "Early Music Movement". This production. Margherita Durastanti.[36] The Fort Worth performance was quickly followed by further American stagings in Iowa City and Boston. whose great success at Bologna in the 1697 pasticcio Perseo inspired the publication of a volume of eulogistic verse entitled La miniera del Diamante.[35] That same year it reached New York. including Antonio Carli in the lead bass role. viola. and several more stagings in Germany. contrabassoon and harpsichord. was described by the New York Times critic as "odd .[25][26] Agrippina proved extremely popular. but there are nevertheless what Dean and Knapp describe as "moments of splendour when Handel applies the full concerto grosso treatment. timpani. as is thought more likely. extraordinarily long for that time.[26] Its original run was for 27 performances. In this performance the alto role of Otho.[32] A 1958 performance in Leipzig. Agrippina received several revivals. about which there was at one time some uncertainty. preceded the British première of the opera at Abingdon. and the broad outline of the libretto draws heavily upon Tacitus's Annals and Suetonius' Life of Claudius. the other at the Göttingen International Handel Festival. [22] By the later standards of Handel's London operas this scoring is light.[29] [edit] Later performances In the late 18th and throughout the 19th century.. and Vienna. two trumpets. and Diamante Scarabelli. under conductor Richard Kraus at the Halle Opera House.[12] It has been suggested that the comical. in which Grimani supported the Habsburgs. marking the first time that Agrippina was communicated in a medium other than the stage."Pur punir chi m'ha ingannata".and replaced the duet with two solo arias before the first performance. and Pope Clement XI France and Spain.[24] Certain aspects of this conflict are also reflected in the plot: the rivalry between Nero and Otho mirror aspects of the debate over the War of the Spanish Succession. Halle. who had recently sung the role of Mary Magdalene in Handel's La resurrezione. when interest in Handel's operas awakened in the 20th century.[11] The cast consisted of some of Northern Italy's leading singers of the day. the English National Opera (ENO) staged an English- . Texas in 1985. which advocates historically accurate performances of Baroque and early works. a Springtime for Hitler version of I. and none were staged between 1754 and 1920. although the musical performances were generally praised.

eager to be with Poppaea again. in an effort to divert Claudius's wrath from Otho with whom she is now reconciled. Then Claudius enters. as intended. saved from death by Otho.[46] At the palace. This. but manages to convince Claudius that Otho is still plotting to take the throne. Soon Nero arrives to press his love on her ("Coll ardor del tuo bel core"). so Claudius in a spirit of reconciliation reverses his judgement. Poppaea swears revenge ("Ingannata una sol volta"). nervous about his forthcoming coronation ("Coronato il crin d'allore"). No one is satisfied with this arrangement. leaving him in bewilderment and despair ("Otton. until Otho secretly confides to her that he loves the beautiful Poppaea more than he desires the throne. She hides Otho in her bedroom with instructions to listen carefully. Claudius believes her. Otho himself confirms the story. and decides to renounce love for political ambition ("Come nubbe che fugge dal vento"). She then claims that her efforts to secure the throne for Nero had all along been a ruse to safeguard the throne for Claudius ("Se vuoi pace"). [edit] Act 3 Poppaea now plans some deceit of her own. who hail Nero as the new Emperor before the Senate. when Otho approaches her. She goes to Poppaea and tells her. has died in a storm at sea. Claudius suddenly reappears. When Claudius arrives at Poppaea's house she reveals what she believes is Otho's treachery. Otho. Agrippina plots to secure the throne for Nero. With the Senate's assent Agrippina and Nero begin to ascend the throne. as did the 1997 Gardiner recording. [38][39] These recent revivals have used countertenors in the roles written for castrati. Poppaea. Claudius departs in fury. Agrippina advises Poppaea to turn the tables on Otho by telling the Emperor that Otho has ordered her to refuse Claudius's attentions. She devises a plan. Pallas and Narcissus. that Otho has struck a bargain with Claudius whereby he. She advises him that he should end Otho's ambitions once and for all by abdicating in favour of Nero. and Nero for support. sleep-talking what Agrippina has told her earlier. her son by a previous marriage. then she summons Nero who. and angrily dismisses the crestfallen Nero. qual portenso fulminare" followed by "Vol che udite il mio lamenti"). gains the throne but gives Poppaea to Claudius. All combine in a triumphal chorus ("Di timpani e trombe"). but assents to his mother's wishes ("Con saggio tuo consiglio"). and appeals to Agrippina. After Claudius departs. Poppaea tells him that he had earlier misunderstood her: it was not Otho but Nero who had ordered her to reject Claudius. However. Claudius. He announces that his master is alive ("Allegrezza! Claudio giunge!"). Otho. but she tricks him into hiding as well. [37][40] [edit] Synopsis [edit] Act 1 On hearing the news that her husband. and decide to have no more to do with her. Nero is unenthusiastic about this project. so that when Agrippina urges the Emperor to yield the throne to Nero. thinking Claudius has gone. Nero tells Agrippina of his troubles. but Otho is coldly rebuffed as Claudius denounces him as a traitor. aware that Claudius also loves Poppaea. and reveals that Claudius has promised him the throne as a mark of gratitude. overhears her and fiercely protests his innocence. will make Claudius revoke his promise to Otho of the throne. Poppaea is touched by her former beloved's grief. which received a broadly favourable critical response. Agrippina. Poppaea believes Agrippina. Each in turns pays tribute to the Emperor. Nero and Poppaea. Claudius announces that Nero and Poppaea will marry. the Emperor Claudius.[47] He then summons the goddess Juno. Otho arrives. But Pallas and Narcissus have by now revealed Agrippina's original plot to Claudius. Poppaea brings Otho out of hiding and the two express their everlasting love in separate arias. To prove her point she asks Claudius to pretend to leave. but the ceremony is interrupted by the entrance of Claudius's servant Lesbus. but they all reject him. falsely. [45] but is distracted when Nero comes forward and declares his love for her. He convinces Poppaea that Agrippina has deceived her. the commander of the army. sees a new opportunity of furthering her ambitions for Nero. Otho is devastated. resumes his passionate wooing of Poppaea. and that Otho shall have the throne. and wonders if he might not be innocent ("Bella pur nel mio diletto"). directed by David McVicar. which involves pretended sleep and. agrees. nevertheless. and Nero arrive. .language version in February 2007. who descends to pronounce a general blessing ("V'accendano le tede i raggi delle stelle"). Otho. [edit] Act 2 Pallas and Narcissus realize that Agrippina has tricked them into supporting Nero. while Agrippina cynically consoles Poppaea by declaring that their friendship will never be broken by deceit ("Non hò cor che per amarti"). Agrippina believes. as Claudius enters. inventive and humane requires no extra gilding". as their desires have all changed. when Poppaea. giving Poppaea to Otho and the throne to Nero. Meanwhile Agrippina has lost the support of Pallas and Narcissus. who have come to greet Claudius. although critic Fiona Maddocks identified features of the production that diminished the work: "Music so witty. he accuses her of treachery. followed by Agrippina. Agrippina is confounded. Agrippina obtains the support of her two freedmen.

Dean and Knapp describe this. contrasting with his rival Narcissus whose introspective nature is displayed in his delicate aria "Volo pronto" which immediately follows.[19] Grimani's libretto has also come in for much praise: The New Penguin Opera Guide describes it as one of the best Handel ever set.[49] With one exception the recitative sections are secco ("dry").[51] The 19th-century musical theorist Ebenezer Prout singles out Agrippina's "Non hò che per amarti" for special praise. with its "wide-leaping melodic phrasing" introduces him as a bold. and something of a buffoon. Agrippina is an unscrupulous schemer. Handel avoids laughing at his characters. have some redeeming features. For instance. and the hidden truth. For the most part the arias are brief. [49] Contrasts between the force of the libretto and the emotional colour of the actual music would develop into a constant feature of Handel's later London operas. the first of Handel's sex kittens.[54] The freedmen Pallas and Narcissus are self-serving and salacious. [30] a point reflected in the reviews of the Tully Hall performance of Agrippina in 1985. while tricking her into ruining Otho's chances for the throne. is also a liar and a flirt.[56] Agrippina's introductory aria "L'alma mia" has a mock-military form which reflects her outward power. as "the peak of the opera". Nero's announcement that his passion is ended and that he will no longer bound by it (in "Come nubbe che fugge dal vento") is set to bitter-sweet music which suggests that he is deceiving himself. and praises the "light touch" with which the characters are vividly portrayed. is pampered and hypocritical. as a means of highlighting the drama. in the view of scholar John E. emphasised rhythmic accompaniment hints at clarity and openness. and would change very little in the next 30 years. following Orfeo ed Euridice and Alceste. Like its predecessors. as characters attempt to deceive each other. while subtle musical phrasing establishes her real emotional state. which refer to a "string of melodious aria and ensembles. which Handel reflects in the music. [36] [edit] Character Of the main characters. only Otho is not morally contemptible. however. and writes that "an examination of the score of this air would probably astonish some who think Handel's orchestration is wanting in variety. "among the most convincing of all the composer's dramatic works". while Claudius's short love song "Vieni O cara" gives a glimpse of his inner feelings. there are only two short ensembles. His settings sometimes illustrate both the surface meaning. [58] In Act III. while a simple. its libretto was written by Ranieri . In accordance with 18th-century opera convention the plot is mainly carried forward in the recitatives. Claudius is pompous. in her Act I aria "Non hò che per amarti" Agrippina promises Poppaea that deceit will never mar their new friendship.[1] according to Winton Dean it has few rivals for its "sheer freshness of musical invention". where he finds himself robbed of the throne and deserted by his beloved Poppaea. qual portentoso fulmine". where a simple vocal line is accompanied by continuo only. Handel's basic style when had matured. He points out the range of instruments used for special effects. Handel's music illuminates her deceit in the melody and minor modal key.[50] The anomaly is Otho's "Otton. and in the quartet and the trio the voices are not heard together.[56] Poppaea's arias are uniformly light and rhythmic.[56] Pallas's first aria "La mia sorte fortunata". while not yet the monster he would become.[59] In Otho's "Coronato il crin" the agitated nature of the music is the opposite of what the "euphoric" tone of the libretto suggests.[1] Agrippina as a whole is.[49][53] However. here the recitative is accompanied by the orchestra. but in other respects Agrippina is more typical of an older operatic tradition.[55] In Agrippina the da capo aria is the musical form used to illustrate character in the context of the opera. the third and final of his Italian reformist works. but never farcical—like Mozart in the Da Ponte operas. The situations in which they find themselves are sometimes comic. in a minor key and with a descending figure on the key phrase "il trono ascendero" ("I will ascend the throne") characterises him as weak and irresolute. and is considered one of the gems of the score."[52] Handel made more use than was then usual of orchestral accompaniment in arias. complacent. while the musical interest and exploration of character takes place in the arias—although on occasion Handel breaks this mould by using arias to advance the action.[57] [edit] Irony Grimani's libretto is full of irony. any of which could be mistaken for the work of his mature London years".[13] Paride ed Elena Paride ed Elena (Paris and Helen) is an opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck. while Poppaea. and all have arias that express genuine emotion. and the Otho's aria which follows. heroic figure.[edit] Music [edit] Style Stylistically.[49] Agrippina is considered Handel's first operatic masterpiece. Agrippina follows the standard pattern of the era by alternating recitative and da capo arias. Nero. [56] The first four arias of the work exemplify this: Nero's "Con raggio". Sawyer.[55] All.

Carolyn Sampson (Amore). Helen. with transposition an octave lower. Initially outraged. the love of Helen. Gabrieli Consort & Players. Arias of Paris have been adapted by tenors. wherewith to praise Helen. First Performance: 3 November 1770. or appropriated by sopranos and mezzo-sopranos. e vivere (To forget you and to live). She calls on him to judge an athletic contest and when asked to sing he does so in praise of her beauty. Vienna Setting: Sparta before the Trojan War. The rôle of Paris offers difficulties of casting. The abduction of Helen leads to the Trojan War immortalized in Homer’s Iliad. Indeed. but Pallas Athene (Athena) now warns them of sorrow to come. directed by Paul McCreesh. For we shall find that it was because of her that the Greeks became united in harmonious accord and organized a common expedition against the barbarians. as it was. although in former times any barbarians who were in misfortune presumed to be rulers over the Greek cities (for example. occupied Argos. sacrificing to Aphrodite and seeking. went so far as to argue: Apart from the arts and philosophic studies and all the other benefits which one might attribute to her and to the Trojan War. Helen ultimately takes flight with Paris to Troy. we experienced a change so great that. The three are led by Hermes at the command of Zeus to Alexandrus [Paris] on Mount Ida for his decision. Paris deserts the nymph Oenone and proceeds to Sparta to claim Helen. written. for a relatively high castrato voice. with the encouragement of Erasto. Isocrates. having chosen Aphrodite above Hera and Athena. on the other hand. His second aria is Spiagge amate (Beloved shores). yet after that war our race expanded so greatly that it took from the barbarians great cities and much territory. Danaus. In the final scene Paris and Helen make ready to embark for Troy. who now reveals himself as' Calzabigi. and Aphrodite as to which of them is fairest.‖ Menelaus welcomes Paris as his guest. Paris Music composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck. The opera tells the story of the events between the Judgment of Paris and the flight of Paris and Helen to Troy. If. Paris fears that he may lose Helen in Le belle imagini (The fair semblance) and in the fourth would prefer death to life without Helen. again in a minor key. Gillian Webster (Pallade). Burgtheater. on the contrary. Arias from the opera that enjoy an independent concert existence include Paris's minor-key declaration of love. . Cité de la Musique. they will discover many new arguments that relate to her. Paride ed Elena (Paris and Helen) is the third of Gluck's so-called reform operas for Vienna. GLUCK: Paride ed Elena Paride ed Elena: Dramma per musica in five acts. Christoph Willibald Gluck: Paride ed Elena Magdalena Kozena (Paride). Di te scordarmi. Cadmus of Sidon became king of Thebes. Strife arrives while the gods are feasting at the marriage of Peleus and starts a dispute between Hera. son of Tantalus. and she begins to give way. we should be justified in considering that it is owing to Helen that we are not the slaves of the barbarians. therefore. According to the Cyprea: Zeus plans with Themis to bring about the Trojan war. the wife of Menelaus. any orators wish to dilate upon these matters and dwell upon them. admitting the purpose of his visit is to win her love. in the first act. O del mio dolce ardor (O of my gentle love). In the second act. and Alexandrus. lured by his promised marriage with Helen. she gives way. Live performance. Following the Greek custom to ―[h]ave Respect for one in need of house and hospitality. the great rhetorician. Paris thereupon seduces Helen. Paris dies from battle wounds that Oenone refuses to cure. Ironically. and that it was then for the first time that Europe set up a trophy of victory over Asia. decides in favour of Aphrodite. and the least often performed of the three. Background: The last of Gluck’s so-called reform operas. others found Helen praiseworthy. In despair Paris now pleads with her. and in consequence. following Alceste (Alcestis) and Orfeo ed Euridice (Orpheus and Eurydice). She dismisses him. Libretto by Ranieri de’Calzabigi. became master of all the Peloponnese). Susan Gritton (Elena). an exile from Egypt. [edit] Synopsis The hero Paris is in Sparta. 23 October 2003. returns to Sparta where Menelaus restores her as his queen. Although condemned by the tragedians. Paride ed Elena encompasses the events between The Judgment of Paris and the flight of Paris and Helen to Troy. through the intervention of Erasto. Athena. they will not be at a loss for material apart from what I have said. It was premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 3 November 1770. Eventually. and Pelops. the Carians colonized the islands. Paris and Helen meet at her royal palace and each is struck by the other's beauty.

ossia la folle giornata (The Marriage of Figaro. is an opera buffa (comic opera) composed in 1786 in four acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It heard many a bravo from unbiassed connoisseurs. and she begins to give way. which for months was performed roughly every other day (Solomon 1995). Beaumarchais' earlier play The Barber of Seville had already made a successful transition to opera in a version by Paisiello. You will therefore cause some posters to this effect to be printed. the love of Helen. was concerned by the length of the performance and directed his aide Count Rosenberg as follows: "To prevent the excessive duration of operas. their later collaborations were Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte. the cast for which is included in the "Roles" section below. but praises the work warmly: "Mozart's music was generally admired by connoisseurs already at the first performance. the libretto was approved by the Emperor. the custom of the day. and consequently opinions were divided at the end of the piece. p. considered dangerous in the decade before the French Revolution. La folle journée. ou le Mariage de Figaro (1784). removing all of the original's political references. seven on 8 May (Deutsch 1965. was in charge of the Burgtheater. in addition to his empire. 492. who now reveals himself as Cupid. K. 275). The Marriage of Figaro From Wikipedia. In despair Paris now pleads with her. I deem the enclosed notice to the public (that no piece for more than a single voice is to be repeated) to be the most reasonable expedient. Although Beaumarchais' Marriage of Figaro was at first banned in Vienna because of its satire of the aristocracy.[4] Although the total of nine performances was nothing like the frequency of performance of Mozart's later success The Magic Flute. or The Day of Madness). For the opera by Marcos Portugal (1799). see Marcos Portugal. but Pallas Athene (Minerva) now warns them of sorrow to come. Joseph II. The applause of the audience on the first night resulted in five numbers being encored. [edit] Composition The opera was the first of three collaborations between Mozart and Da Ponte.[1] The Imperial Italian opera company paid Mozart 450 florins for the work. through the intervention of Erasto. She dismisses him. Mozart and his librettist managed to get official approval for an operatic version which eventually achieved great success. The public.[3] The first production was given eight further performances. Later performances were by Joseph Weigl. with a libretto in Italian by Lorenzo Da Ponte. the premiere is generally judged to have been a success. [2] [edit] Performance history Figaro premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 1 May 1786. conducting seated at the keyboard. Le nozze di Figaro. if I except only those whose self-love and conceit will not allow them to find merit in anything not written by themselves. having chosen Venus above Juno and Minerva. now with the encouragement of Erasto. but obstreperous louts in the uppermost storey exerted their hired lungs with all their might to deafen singers and audience alike with their St! and Pst. she gives way. She calls on him to judge an athletic contest and when asked to sing he does so in praise of her beauty. Contrary to the popular myth. who. when he had worked as a court musician in Salzburg (Solomon 1995). rewriting it in poetic Italian. Paris and Helen meet at her royal palace and each is struck by the other's beauty. In particular.Synopsis: Paris. It was Mozart who originally selected Beaumarchais' play and brought it to Da Ponte. Mozart himself directed the first two performances. is in Sparta. Eventually."[5] The requested posters were printed up and posted in the Burgtheater in time for the third performance on 24 May (Deutsch 1965. who turned it into a libretto in six weeks. all in 1786. In the final scene Paris and Helen make ready to embark for Troy. Da Ponte strengthened the emotional content of the play. see The Marriage of Figaro (play). Da Ponte was paid 200 florins. before any music was written by Mozart. Da Ponte replaced Figaro's climactic speech against inherited nobility with an equally angry aria against unfaithful wives. without however prejudicing the fame often sought by opera singers from the repetition of vocal pieces. the free encyclopedia For the Beaumarchais play. The newspaper Wiener Realzeitung carried a review of the opera in its issue of 11 July 1786. p.[2] this was three times his (low) salary for a year. however … did not really know on the first day where it stood. sacrificing to Venus and seeking. based on a stage comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais. . admitting the purpose of his visit is to win her love. 272). Joseph II. It alludes to interference probably produced by paid hecklers.

owing to the difficulties of the composition. 579). Changes in role assignment can also result from modern preferences for contrasts in vocal timbre between two major characters. ear. premiered in Prague in 1787. Rosina is now the Countess. Where could words be found that are worthy to describe such joy?" [7] Joseph Haydn appreciated the opera greatly.[12] Mozart (and his contemporaries) never used the terms "mezzo-soprano" or "baritone". the newspaper Prager Oberpostamtszeitung called the work "a masterpiece" (Deutsch 1965. For Deh. but was prevented from doing so by the death of his patron. [edit] Other early performances The Emperor requested a special performance at his palace theater in Laxenburg. Women's roles were listed as either "soprano" or "contralto". The success of the Prague production led to the commissioning of the next Mozart/Da Ponte opera. Cherubino is usually assigned to a mezzo-soprano (sometimes also Marcellina). In modern performance practice. he listened on 17 January 1787." (Deutsch 1965. p. [13] Modern re-classifications of the voice types for Mozartian roles have been based on analysis of contemporary descriptions of the singers who created those roles and their other repertoire. Susanna.g. – Mozart directed the orchestra. He keeps finding excuses to delay the civil part of the wedding of his two servants. and Count Almaviva has degenerated from the romantic youth of Barber into a scheming. see Mozart and Prague. e. bullying. and it appears as number five on the Operabase list of the most-performed operas worldwide. [8] In summer 1790 Haydn attempted to produce the work with his own company at Eszterháza. The work was not performed in Vienna during 1787 or 1788. Fiordiligi and Dorabella in Così fan tutte. and such a wealth of ideas.[14] [edit] Synopsis The Marriage of Figaro is a continuation of the plot of The Barber of Seville several years later. It contains so many beauties. and soul.Apart from that. and later remembered the powerful impression the work made on him: "[Nancy] Storace [see below]. p. and conducted it himself on the 22nd (Deutsch 1965. (K.[11] [edit] Roles The voice types which appear in this table are those listed in the original libretto. 577) in July 1789. and said "no piece (for everyone here asserts) has ever caused such a sensation. 281). The opera was produced in Prague starting in December 1786 by the Pasquale Bondini company. 280) Local music lovers paid for Mozart to visit Prague and hear the production. Dr. vieni he wrote Al desio di chi t'adora – "[come and fly] To the desire of [the one] who adores you" (K. better suited to the voice of Adriana Ferrarese del Bene who took the role. p. as can be drawn only from the source of innate genius. it is true that the first performance was none of the best. Bartolo is seeking revenge against Figaro for thwarting his plans to marry Rosina himself. He responds by trying to compel Figaro legally to marry a woman old enough to . although the slightly more low-lying role of Dorabella is now often sung by a mezzo. Count Almaviva to a baritone. Nikolaus Esterházy (Landon & Jones 1988. and for Venite. Similarly. while men's roles were listed as either "tenor" or "bass". but starting in 1789 there was a revival production. Don Giovanni. This production was a tremendous success. and Figaro to a bass-baritone. inginocchiatevi! he wrote Un moto di gioia – "A joyous emotion". Figaro. playing his fortepiano. mezzo-soprano as a distinct voice type was a 19th century development. 285). probably in mid-1790."[6] The Hungarian poet Ferenc Kazinczy was in the audience for a May performance. Both roles were written for sopranos. Many of Mozart's baritone and bass-baritone roles derive from the basso buffo tradition.[10] [edit] Contemporary reputation The Marriage of Figaro is now regarded as a cornerstone of the standard operatic repertoire. Having gratefully given Figaro a job as head of his servant-staff. a practice that continued well into the 19th century. writing to a friend that he heard it in his dreams. enchanted eye. Susanna. p. 174). and the Countess conspire to embarrass the Count and expose his scheming. which is arranged for this very day. where no clear distinction was drawn between bass and baritone. skirt-chasing baritone. Spain. But now. the beautiful singer. the joy which this music causes is so far removed from all sensuality that one cannot speak of it.[9] For this occasion Mozart replaced both arias of Susanna with new compositions. and on the role's tessitura in the score. one would be subscribing either to the cabal or to tastelessness if one were to maintain that Herr Mozart's music is anything but a masterpiece of art. which took place in June 1786 (Deutsch 1965). and recounts a single "day of madness" (la folle giornata) in the palace of the Count Almaviva near Seville. he is now persistently trying to obtain the favors of Figaro's bride-to-be. after several performances.

not wanting to be seen alone with Susanna. Through Figaro's and Susanna's clever manipulations. often in combination with a bonnet. Figaro leaves. to help Marcellina (aria: La vendetta – "Vengeance"). Figaro is livid and plans to outwit the Count (Cavatina: Se vuol ballare. After the song. Aguas-Frescas. since Figaro had once promised to marry her if he should default on a loan she had made to him. aside from two brief phrases during the Count's part in the terzetto Cosa sento! in act 1. his mother. Susanna returns. Place: Count Almaviva's estate. asks for Susanna's aid with the Count. the Count angrily leaps from his hiding place. The Count had the right abolished when he married Rosina. but he now wants to reinstate it. the Count. twenty. He has already sent one to the Count (via Basilio) that indicates the Countess has a rendezvous that evening of her own. The musical material of the overture is not used later in the work. The young man is only saved from punishment by the entrance of the peasants of the Count's estate. hides behind the chair. Lifting the dress from the chair he finds Cherubino. in comical lawyer-speak.[17] [edit] Act 2 A handsome room with an alcove. Barbarina. having discovered him with the gardener's daughter. this entrance being a preemptive attempt by Figaro to commit the Count to a formal gesture symbolizing the promise of Susanna's entering into the marriage unsullied.[15] [edit] Overture The overture is especially famous and is often played as a concert piece. ten. thirty"). military life from which women will be totally excluded (aria: Non più andrai – "No more gallivanting"). he is merely offering her a monetary contract in return for her affection. love. Cherubino hides behind a chair. Susanna far less so. still irked at Figaro for having facilitated the union of the Count and Rosina (in The Barber of Seville). Spain. a door in the background (leading to the servants' quarters) and a window at the side.[16] [edit] Act 1 A partly furnished room. sent in by Figaro and eager to co-operate. qualche ristoro – "Grant. harsh. Cherubino then arrives and. Cherubino wants Susanna to ask the Countess to intercede on his behalf. When the Count appears. and Marcellina and Susanna share an exchange of very politely delivered sarcastic insults (duet: Via. and plans to punish him. with a chair in the centre. arrives. The Count uses the opportunity of finding Susanna alone to step up his demands for favours from her. including financial inducements to sell herself to him. She is bothered by its proximity to the Count's chambers: it seems he has been making advances toward her and plans on exercising his "droit du seigneur". Figaro is happily measuring the space where the bridal bed will fit while Susanna is trying on her wedding bonnet in front of the mirror (in the present day. (aria: Porgi. They hope that the Count will be too busy looking for imaginary adulterers to interfere with Figaro's and Susanna's wedding. the Countess. madama brillante – "After you. Susanna triumphs in the exchange by congratulating her rival on her impressive age. and jumps onto the chair while Susanna scrambles to cover him with a dress. Figaro additionally advises the Countess to keep Cherubino around. Figaro departs. She should dress him up as Susanna and lure the Count into an illicit rendezvous where he can be caught red-handed. some comfort"). so as to accommodate what Susanna happily describes as her wedding "cappellino"). but he dispatches him to Seville for army duty. The older woman departs in a fury. brilliant madam"). It seems the Count is angry with Cherubino's amorous ways. the purported feudal right of a lord to bed a servant girl on her wedding night before her husband can sleep with her. Bartolo arrives with Marcellina. not wanting to be caught alone with Susanna. is it what I'm suffering from?"). the slimy music teacher. Susanna urges him to sing the song he wrote for the Countess (aria: Voi che sapete che cosa è amor – "You ladies who know what love is. They proceed to . The Count evades Figaro's plan by postponing the gesture. Figaro gives Cherubino mocking advice about his new. As Basilio. The Countess laments her husband's infidelity. Figaro enters and explains his plan to distract the Count with anonymous letters warning him of adulterers. resti servita. amor. Marcellina has hired Bartolo as her counsel. venti. signor contino – "If you want to dance. Bartolo. after describing his emerging infatuation with all women and particularly with his "beautiful godmother" the Countess (aria: Non so più cosa son – "I don't know anymore what I am"). (Duet: Cinque. and Dr. The Count says that he forgives Cherubino. Figaro is quite pleased with their new room. and she intends to enforce that promise. three leagues outside Seville. notices that the Count was in such a hurry that he forgot to seal it with his signet ring (which was necessary to make it an official document). She responds to the Countess's questions by telling her that the Count is not trying to "seduce" her. sir Count"). Susanna comes in to prepare the Countess for the day. promises. Bartolo departs. his old housekeeper. a more traditional French floral wreath or a modern veil are often substituted. Cherubino leaves that hiding place just in time. trenta – "Five. a dressing room on the left. but it turns out at the last minute that she is really his mother. seeing Cherubino's military commission. the Count's love for his Countess is finally restored. When Basilio starts to gossip about Cherubino's obvious attraction to the Countess. Cherubino arrives.

Susanna and the Countess reveal that the letter was written by Figaro. in fact. in search of tools to force the closet door open. He tries to open it. trying on her wedding dress. The ensuing discussion reveals that Figaro is Rafaello. Bartolo. When the Count presses about the anonymous letter. alone. Night. and asks for Cherubino's hand in marriage. is enraged. [edit] Act 3 A rich hall. Susanna mistakenly believes that Figaro now prefers Marcellina over her.attire Cherubino in women's clothes (aria of Susanna: Venite. Furious and suspicious. The Countess tells him it is only Susanna. and Cherubino escapes by jumping through the window into the garden. and then delivered through Basilio. Bartolo. promising to kill Cherubino on the spot. A touching scene of reconciliation occurs. The Count arrives with Antonio.. As Susanna leaves. but the Count berates him with questions about the anonymous note. see"). Shamed by his jealousy. come out!"). All leave. Antonio brings forward a paper which. during the course of which Susanna delivers her letter to the Count. Just as the Count is starting to run out of questions. presto. His victory is. prepared for the wedding ceremony. Cherubino's appointment to the army). (duet: Sull'aria. and that he does not know who his parents are. quickly realises what's going on. bringing charges against Figaro and demanding that he honor his contract to marry Marcellina. ponders the loss of her happiness (aria: Dove sono i bei momenti – "Where are they. arrives to serenade the Countess. The Count mulls over the confusing situation. Cherubino hides in the closet. Antonio's daughter). why did you make me wait so long"). but Figaro claims it was he himself who jumped out the window. and laughs. and the Countess. they both find to their astonishment only Susanna. he resolves to make Figaro pay by forcing him to marry Marcellina. At the urging of the Countess. Cherubino and Susanna emerge from their hiding places. but when the door is opened. At this moment. agrees to marry Marcellina that evening in a double wedding (sextet: Riconosci in questo amplesso una madre – "Recognize a mother in this embrace"). Figaro watches the Count prick his finger on the pin.che soave zeffiretto – "On the breeze… What a gentle little Zephyr"). they suddenly hear the Count arriving. and the judgment is that Figaro must marry Marcellina. Susanna enters and updates her regarding the plan to trap the Count. the Count leaves. to test his trust in her. His anger is quickly dispelled by Barbarina (a peasant girl. the Count overhears her telling Figaro that he has already won the case. The Countess dictates a love letter for Susanna to give to the Count.. perché finora – "Cruel girl. and fakes a foot-injury. complaining that a man has jumped out of the window and broken his flowerpots. but it is locked.. Susanna enters and gives a false promise to meet the Count later that night in the garden (duet: Crudel. the long-lost illegitimate son of Bartolo and Marcellina. The Count demands an explanation. (duet: Aprite. joins the celebration. the two newlywed couples rejoice. [edit] Act 4 The garden. was dropped by the escaping man.. Figaro's trial follows. As they leave. The Count immediately realizes that the jumping fugitive was Cherubino. the Countess tells him it is a practical joke. and. the beautiful moments"). among them Cherubino disguised as a girl. quickly!"). The Count and Countess return. She has a tantrum and slaps Figaro's face. Marcellina. Seeing Figaro and Marcellina in celebration together. but the Countess orders her to be silent. aprite – "Open the door. who publicly recalls that he had once offered to give her anything she wants. Susanna enters with a payment to release Figaro from his debt to Marcellina. While the Countess and Cherubino are waiting for Susanna to come back. realizing her mistake. The Count enters and hears a noise from the closet. with two pavilions. Figaro then arrives and tries to start the wedding festivities. During the celebrations. however. inginocchiatevi! – "Come. while sighing. with the Countess. the Count allows Cherubino to stay. The Count shouts for her to identify herself by her voice. and hides behind a couch (Trio: Susanna. and Susanna goes out to fetch a ribbon. because he was stolen from them when he was a baby. .. unaware that the love-note is from Susanna herself. with two thrones. Figaro explains. Thoroughly embarrassed. Realizing that he is being tricked (aria: Hai già vinta la causa . A chorus of young peasants. The letter instructs the Count to return the pin which fastens the letter. vowing to make the Count look foolish. The Countess desperately admits that Cherubino is hidden in the closet. The raging Count draws his sword. The Count happily postpones the wedding in order to investigate the charge. Vedrò mentr'io sospiro – "You've already won the case?" . or via sortite! – "Susanna. he says. "under the pines". short-lived. Antonio the gardener arrives. Susanna then takes his place in the closet. As the curtain drops.. and Basilio enter. The act closes with the double wedding. discovering the page. Figaro argues that he cannot get married without his parents' permission. he locks all the bedroom doors to prevent the intruder from escaping. The Count orders Figaro to prove he was the jumper by identifying the paper (which is. kneel down before me"). Figaro is able to do this because of the cunning teamwork of the two women. overcome with emotion. which suggests that he meet her that night. "Shall I. The Count demands to be allowed into the room and the Countess reluctantly unlocks the door. the Count begs for forgiveness. and Susanna. Susanna re-enters unobserved.

but he suddenly recognizes his bride in disguise. repeating "no" at the top of his voice. perdono – "Countess. usually a fortepiano or a harpsichord. Onstage. and strings. enters frustrated. Figaro is hiding behind a bush and. is an aria in which the first .Following the directions in the letter. His punch actually ends up hitting Figaro. often joined by a cello. Susanna. poor me"). Basilio and Antonio enter with torches as. Figaro complains to his mother.  Mozart uses the sound of two horns playing together to represent cuckoldry. Verdi later used the same device in Ford's aria in Falstaff. but the point is made and Cherubino runs off. and gives her a jewelled ring. The Countess. two bassoons. in the act 4 aria Aprite un po quelli'ochi. (This aria and Basilio's ensuing aria are usually omitted from performances due to their relative unimportance. the recitativi are accompanied by a keyboard instrument. becomes increasingly jealous. dressed in each other's clothes. non tardar – "Oh come. realizes that the supposed Susanna he was trying to seduce. having informed Susanna of Figaro's suspicions and plans. oratorio and other vocal compositions. loses her temper and slaps him many times. two trumpets. but Figaro will not listen. All beg him to forgive Figaro and the "Countess". Thinking that Susanna is meeting the Count behind his back. and inviting her to make love right then and there. thinking the song is for the Count. Marcellina is with them. When he hears the pin is Susanna's. and swears to be avenged on the Count and Susanna.) Actuated by jealousy. only one number is in a minor key: Barbarina's brief aria L'ho perduta at the beginning of act 4. so it is up to the conductor and the performers. was actually his wife. leaving Figaro alone. The enraged Count calls for his people and for weapons: his servant is seducing his wife. forgives her husband and all are contented. They exit. and they make peace. more kind than he (Piú docile io sono – "I am more kind"). Marcellina and the "Countess" from behind the pavilion. and Figaro asks her what she is doing. meanwhile. Unfortunately. by using the skin of an ass for shelter and camouflage (In quegli anni). The Count. giving it to Barbarina. Figaro gets his attention by loudly declaring his love for "the Countess" (really Susanna). They go offstage together. The Countess arrives in Susanna's dress. The instrumentation of the recitativi is not given in the score. timpani. both musically and dramatically. two oboes. The Count. He plays along with the joke by pretending to be in love with "my lady". one by one. vieni. Figaro tells Bartolo and Basilio to come to his aid when he gives the signal. the Count gets rid of him by striking out in the dark. hiding in the dark. me meschina – "I lost it. especially as he recognises the pin to be the one that fastened the letter to the Count. Bartolo. fooled. Ashamed and remorseful. Figaro finally lets on that he has recognized Susanna's voice. The word is used in particular to indicate formally constructed songs in opera. After they discuss the plan. and on all unfaithful wives. don't delay"). Cherubino shows up and starts teasing "Susanna" (really the Countess). and one in which Don Basilio tells how he saved himself from several dangers in his youth. and anger the characters experience. resolving to conclude the comedy together. Susanna and the Countess arrive. and starts to tell her of the Count's intentions. The Count now begins making earnest love to "Susanna" (really the Countess). Marcellina and the Countess leave. where the Countess dodges him. the Count drags out Cherubino. however some recordings include them. two clarinets. Marcellina urges caution. he is overcome with jealousy. Figaro and Marcellina see Barbarina. and Marcellina resolves to inform Susanna of Figaro's intentions. The opera ends in a night-long celebration. seeing the ring he had given her. unable to find "Susanna". endangering the plan. Other than this the entire opera is set in major keys. He tells a tale of how he was given common sense by "Donna Flemma" and ever since he has been aware of the wiles of women (aria: In quegli anni – "In youthful years"). until finally the real Countess re-enters and reveals her true identity. Figaro rushes off. The socalled da capo aria of later baroque opera. the real Susanna enters. but rational humans can't (aria: Il capro e la capretta – "The billy-goat and the she-goat"). Barbarina has lost it (aria: L'ho perduta. Fortunately. wearing the Countess' clothes. [edit] Musical style  In spite of all the sorrow. A typical performance usually lasts around 3 hours. [edit] Frequently omitted numbers Two arias from act 4 are usually omitted: one in which Marcellina regrets that people (unlike animals) abuse their mates (Il capro e la capretta). forgive me"). Marcellina sings of how the wild beasts get along with each other. Figaro mistakes her for the Countess. the Count has sent the pin back to Susanna. and Susanna teases Figaro by singing a love song to her beloved within Figaro's hearing (aria: Deh. Barbarina. An aria is a song or air. he kneels and pleads for forgiveness himself (Contessa. is written in F minor. The Marriage of Figaro is scored for two flutes. where she mourns the loss of the pin and worries about what her master will say when she fails to deliver it. Figaro muses on the inconstancy of women (aria: Aprite un po' quegli occhi – "Open your eyes"). but he loudly refuses. two horns. anxiety. Basilio comments on Figaro's foolishness and claims he was once as frivoulous as Figaro was.

The diminutive arietta indicates a little aria. after the first two sections. usually with additional and varied ornamentation.section is repeated. while arioso refers to a freer form of aria-like vocal writing. .

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