Search - Natale De Carolis, Roberto Frontali, Thomson Smillie :: An Introduction to Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro"

An Introduction to Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro"
Natale De Carolis, Roberto Frontali, Thomson Smillie
An Introduction to Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro"
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
 

      
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Superbly Done Guide to 'The Marriage of Figaro'
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 08/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is another in the extraordinarily helpful Naxos series, 'Opera Explained,' that now numbers issues concerning Fidelio, Aida, The Barber of Seville, Carmen, La Bohème, Rigoletto, Tosca, La Traviata, Madama Butterfly, Così fan tutte, Die Fledermaus and a few others. All of them were written by opera director Thomson Smillie and narrated by British actor David Timson. And all of them use musical examples from the Naxos recordings of the opera under discussion.The CD is in two sections. The first gives background of the opera, some general comments about Mozart the composer, about Mozart's other da Ponte operas (as well as some of the earlier ones--with appropriate musical examples), and discusses the context of the revolutionary Beaumarchais trilogy of plays (The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, and The Guilty Mother) on which this opera was based.Then we get an extended explanation of the action--with appropriate and generous selections from the opera itself--including some clarification that helped even this old Mozart hand straighten out a few plot twists. [I still think the Fourth Act may defy true understanding, but who cares when it ends with the Reconciliation Scene followed by that jolly 'Corriam tutti a festeggiar' chorus?]It would appear to me that this CD would be helpful for intelligent older children who are just coming to opera as well as for curious adults who are furthering their understanding of opera and of 'Figaro' in particular. Smillie has written a literate and amusing script and Rimson is the perfect narrator. Scott Morrison"