About the show

Act One Figaro and Susanna’s Room.
The wedding plans of the servants Susanna and Figaro are turned upside down when Susanna reveals Count Almaviva’s plan to enforce his feudal right to bed his servant on her wedding night. Figaro leaves intending to outwit his master. Cherubino asks Susanna for help as the Count is angry with him for his amorous ways. He confesses he is attracted to all women but especially the Countess. The Count arrives to see Susanna and Cherubino quickly hides. When Cherubino is discovered he avoids punishment when the Count realises he has witnessed his unwanted advances to Susanna. Figaro returns with a group of peasants from the Count’s estate, who praise the Count for renouncing his feudal right. The Count wiggles out of any such commitment.

Act Two The Countess’ Bedroom
The Countess laments her husband’s infidelity and concocts a plan with Figaro and Susanna to expose him. They send the Count a note asking him to meet Susanna in the garden that night but instead it will be Cherubino waiting for him dressed in the Countess’ clothes. Suddenly the Count enters and the Countess hides Cherubino in her wardrobe. The suspicious Count accuses the Countess of infidelity with the person inside the wardrobe. Meanwhile, Susanna has swapped places with Cherubino who escapes out the window. When Susanna is revealed, both the Count and Countess are speechless. Figaro is eager to begin the wedding festivities but is interrupted by the arrival of Dr Bartolo and his housekeeper Marcellina, who claim that Figaro signed a contract to marry Marcellina if he defaulted on a loan contract. The Count orders the marriage be postponed so he can investigate the contract.

Act Three The Wedding Hall.
A second plan is hatched to expose the Count. Susanna consents to meet the Count in exchange for his agreement to refuse Marcellina’s claim, however it will be the Countess, dressed as Susanna, waiting for the Count. When their trick is exposed the Count is even more determined that Figaro will marry Marcellina. Suddenly Figaro declares he is of noble birth and was stolen as a baby. The unravelling of truth and fiction reveals that he is the illegitimate son of Dr Bartolo and Marcellina. Figaro is off the hook and they are joyfully reconciled. Dr Bartolo declares he will marry Marcellina in a double wedding and the celebrations commence.

Act Four The Garden.
Still determined to expose the Count’s infidelities the Countess devises a third plan. This time she and Susanna will swap clothing and both will wait in the garden for the Count. When the Count arrives and attempts to seduce Susanna, Figaro decides to join in the fun and makes exaggerated advances towards the Countess. The Count, thinking he has caught Figaro with the Countess, becomes enraged. The two women reveal their true identities. Realising he has been caught the Count begs his wife’s forgiveness. And so ends this mad day.

Cast

CAST AND CREATIVE

Composer –  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor – Antony Walker
Director – Neil Armfield
Scenery and Costume Designer – Dale Ferguson
Lighting Designer – Rory Dempster
Count Almaviva – Samuel Dundas
Countess Almaviva – Elvira Fatykhova
Susanna – Emma Matthews
Figaro – James Clayton
Cherubino – Fiona Campbell
Marcellina – Caitlin Cassidy
Dr Bartolo – Andrew Collis
Don Basilio & Don Curzio – Matthew Lester
Barbarina – Jennifer Barrington
Antonio – Mark Alderson

West Australian Opera Chorus
West Australian Symphony Orchestra