The revised version of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, conceived by opera singer and stage director András Hábetler, toured around the country in the previous seasons as part of the Opera on Wheels series, and now the successful traveling series has arrived on the stage of the Erkel Theatre.
Discussing the piece, the stage director and adapter said, ”What John Lennon and Paul McCartney are to popular music, and Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice are to the musical, this is the position in opera occupied by Mozart and Lorenzo da Ponte (editors’ note: not to mention Verdi+Boito and Strauss+Hofmannsthal). The perfect creative pair. The fruit of their encounter with each other was the brilliant Figaro. Its heroes are not indomitable heroes or demigods, but rather a count, a countess, a lady’s maid, a valet and a gardener... It is a cathartic experience to recognise ourselves in a creative work – and this production shows us that this is something that is indeed possible on the opera stage.
Susanna and Figaro are preparing for their wedding. As they plan how to furnish their new home, Susanna tells her fiancé that the count has been making eyes at her. Complicating matters further, Figaro earlier borrowed money from Marcellina, the housekeeper, with the agreement that if he couldn't pay it back, he would marry the woman. Now Marcellina is demanding repayment... She discovers an advocate in Bartolo, who is ready to seize the chance to take his revenge on Figaro for once helping the count to snatch a young girl – Rosina – away from him...Cherubino, the countess' teenage godson is complaining to Susanna that he falls in love with every woman he meets. Then they hear the count approaching – Cherubino has to conceal himself. The count attempts to make advances on Susanna, but when Basilio, the music master, knocks on the door, the count is also forced to hide in order not to compromise himself. Nevertheless, when the teacher gossips to Susanna that Cherubino is in love with the countess, the count is no longer able to contain himself and emerges from his hiding place. He grows even more furious when Cherubino also appears. It is only the arrival of Figaro that spares the boy from more severe punishment than being ordered by the count to immediately depart to take up military service.
The countess is unhappy that her husband no longer loves her. She agrees to Figaro's plan to send Cherubino – who is hiding in the house – to take Susanna's place at the assignation that they've arranged for her to have with the count. The sudden appearance of the count once again complicates everything, with Cherubino again being forced to hide. The countess nearly gives away the game, but Susanna saves the situation, and Cherubino exits through the window without being noticed. Except then the gardener, Antonio, bursts in: somebody has jumped out of the window and squashed his flowers! Figaro takes responsibility for the deed, even though what he really wants to do is to get the wedding going. Suddenly, Marcellina enters waving the court summons in her hand. The gloating count thus postpones Figaro and Susanna's wedding.
Susanna and the countess set up another trap for the count: Susanna promises him an assignation, but falsely: the countess will be going in her place. The count, however, later overhears the girl making a comment clearly indicating that Susanna and Figaro are out to make a fool out of him. At the court hearing, the notary, Don Curzio, pronounces the verdict: Figaro must either pay Marcellina or marry her. In the course of the proceedings, light is shed on Figaro's origins, and an unusual birthmark on his body makes Marcellina realise that Figaro is none other than her own long-lost son, fathered by Bartolo. The countess and Susanna hatch another plot, writing a letter to invite the count to a night-time meeting in the garden.Finally, every obstacle to the young lovers' wedding has been removed. What's more: Marcellina is also going to be married – to Bartolo. In the fever of the nuptials, Susanna slips into the count's hand the letter inviting him to the tryst.
Informed of the night-time meeting, Figaro believes that his wife is already being unfaithful to him. Susanna and the countess arrive, after having exchanged clothes in order to trick the count. Susanna sings a love song – which Figaro, lurking nearby, thinks is intended for the count. The count also arrives and begins to passionately court “Susanna”, that is, his own wife. Figaro realises that the woman who he thought was the countess is really Susanna, but instead of exposing her, decides to take his revenge by starting to court her. They are then discovered by the count, who believes that Figaro and the countess are having an intimate encounter. The enraged count has everyone assemble. Finally, the real countess arrives, revealing her true identity. The deception is revealed, and the count repentantly asks his wife for forgiveness.