Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492, Overture

Le nozze di Figaro, in English known as The Marriage of Figaro (Italian: Le nozze di Figaro, pronounced [le nttse di fiaro]), is a commedia per musica (opera buffa) in four acts that was written by Lorenzo Da Ponte in Italian and composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1786. On May 1, 1786, it made its debut at the Burgtheater in Vienna. The stage farce La folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro by Pierre Beaumarchais from 1784 served as the inspiration for the opera’s libretto (“The Mad Day, or The Marriage of Figaro”). A lesson in faithfulness is imparted to their philandering employer Count Almaviva by the servants Figaro and Susanna, who foil his attempts to seduce Susanna and go on to marry.

On May 1, 1786, Figaro had its world premiere at the Burgtheater in Vienna. The first two performances were led by Mozart himself, who did so while seated at the keyboard, as was customary at the time. Joseph Weigl was in charge of conducting later performances. Eight additional performances of the first production were given, all in 1786. Play Le nozze di Figaro Overture in full length on SoundCloud:   The premiere was largely regarded as a triumph, despite the fact that the number of nine performances was far less than the frequency of performances of Mozart’s later masterpiece, The Magic Flute, which for months was performed roughly every other day. Five numbers were encored the first night due to the audience’s appreciation, and seven on May 8.