OPERA WORKSHOP 2017
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO: SLICED AND DICED*
TWO PERFORMANCES—APRIL 28 & 29, 2017
AUDITIONS FOR PRINCIPAL ROLES
MONDAY, OCTOBER 31
4:00-6:00 p.m. in SCHEIDE 215
Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro is a fantastic farce, continuing the story of the characters from Il barbiere di Seviglia. The once young and romantic couple, Rosina and Count Almaviva, are now established in their estate near Seville, but their marriage is in a rocky state. Count Almaviva has now become an aggressive, manipulative womanizer, and Rosina, now the Countess, has become despondent and upset about the state of their relationship. Figaro is now employed as Count Almaviva’s personal butler, but the Count is actively pursuing Figaro’s fiancee, Susanna. The Count keeps putting off the wedding, finding ways to delay their union, even on the day of their planned wedding. Figaro, Susanna, and the Countess create a plan to expose the Count and his womanizing ways, hoping to shame him into change. The Count, however, continues to try to break up the marriage by trying to get Figaro to marry an older woman at court, who turns out to be his mother. Figaro, Susanna, and the Countess succeed in their plot, and the Count asks forgiveness of his wife asn Figaro and Susanna plan to finally be wed.
*THE SELECTION OF SCENES WE PERFORM WILL BE CHOSEN AFTER CASTING OF ROLES (may be divided among several singers) IS COMPLETE.
go to https://www.operaamerica.org/Applications/Notes/voice.aspx for a description and video of operatic voice type
COUNT ALMAVIVA: baritone. This role will be played by our guest artist, David Rice.
Immensely wealthy, married to Rosina; bored, unhappy lord of the manor, who both before and after his marriage has been seeking comfort in the beds of other women; insecure in love, lavish, generous and extravagant, solitary, brooding; with a great capacity for suspicion and able to be wildly jealous of Rosina. Fancies himself a wild, romantic womanizer. Liable to vent his temper on anyone available; not much interested in ruling his subjects or improving their lives in any way; consequently rather unpopular with them. Has recently abolished the droit de seigneur; is now pursuing Susanna and has become jealous and resentful of Figaro for being betrothed to her.
COUNTESS ALMAVIVA: lyric soprano
Bartolo’s former ward; married three years ago to the Count. The strongest character in the opera; still very much in love with the Count despite his treatment of her. Tries to turn a blind eye to his affairs. Gentle, graceful and dignified, patches up the Count’s sporadic and thoughtless treatment of his subjects – loved by them. Clever, wry sense of humor; covers up her feelings when in company. Susanna is her closest friend.
SUSANNA: light-lyric soprano
A chambermaid and confidante to Rosina; betrothed (later married) to Figaro. Quick-witted, competent, mercurial, bold, sharp-tongued, a born mimic; generally easy and joyous attitude to life. Has a soft spot for Cherubino, as do most of the women in the castle. Despises the Count, but refrains from criticizing him too much in Rosina’s company.
Previously the Barber of Seville; three years ago helped the Count obtain Rosina, in gratitude was made his personal valet; self-educated, betrothed to Susanna. Has recently lost the Count’s good will on account of being engaged to Susanna. Looks at everything with a broad humor, even the Count’s pursuit of his fiancée. More easy-going than Susanna, not at all suspicious but able to be as hot-blooded as any of the others when occasion demands it. Adept at plotting and getting out of difficult situations; able to think on his feet.
A love-obsessed young page in Almaviva’s castle; the Countess’s godson; possibly one of the Count’s many illegitimate offspring around the place from before his marriage. Just coming to terms with hormones – has crushes on Rosina, Susanna, Barbarina, Marcellina and most of the other women in the palace. Elegant, flighty, accomplished, self-admiring, cheeky, fancies himself romantic. Always getting on the Count’s nerves, but a great favorite with everyone else. A charming nuisance.
Bartolo’s old housekeeper and formerly Rosina’s governess; hopes to marry Figaro, by means of an old contract whereby he promised to marry her if he couldn’t repay the money she lent him. Once (briefly) a lover of Bartolo, when first in his service; had a son by him, who was lost.
DON BARTOLO: bass
Old medical doctor, former guardian and suitor of Rosina; bears a grudge against Figaro for his part in ‘stealing’ her from him and so is willing to further Marcellina’s cause.
DON BASILIO: tenor
Singing teacher of Susanna, formerly of Rosina, the Count’s constant secret messenger and spokesman to his many clandestine female friends over the years. Has recently been courting Susanna in the Count’s name during her singing lessons.
DON CURZIO: buffo tenor
A judge called in by the Count to give the appearance of unbiased legitimacy to Marcellina’s lawsuit against Figaro. Often portrayed with a stutter.
BARBARINA: soubrette soprano
A young peasant girl, Antonio’s daughter, Susanna’s cousin; hopes to marry Cherubino. Puts on a bold, cheeky face in company, but is really easily intimidated, anxious and tragically scarred by the oblivious Count’s attentions. Hates him, but has no way of standing up to him.
The gardener; Barbarina’s father, Susanna’s uncle. Mostly drunk; terse and shrewd when sober. Doesn’t want Susanna to marry Figaro, as he is low-born and doesn’t know even who his parents are.
Chorus of Peasants: SATB
Auditions are open to all students. Prepare an Italian art song or aria in the vocal range of the character for which you are auditioning
and in which you can show a dramatic understanding of the text.
Examples of suitable audition material include:
A song from the 24/26 Italian Art Songs of the 18th Century anthology
An aria from a Handel or Mozart opera in Italian (with or without recitative)
An aria from a cantata by Vivaldi or Scarlatti (with or without recitative)
MUSIC REHEARSALS WILL BE SCHEDULED FOR LATE NOVEMBER AND EARLY DECEMBER SO THAT EVERYONE CAN LEARN THEIR PARTS OVER THE WINTER BREAK. STAGING REHEARSALS WILL BEGIN SPRING SEMESTER.
YOU CAN REGISTER FOR OPERA WORKSHOP (MUSC16600) FOR .25 CREDIT OR AS AN AUDIT