Sydney-based opera company The Cooperative will open its 2022 season with Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, performed at Pitt Street Uniting Church on April 28, 29 and 30 at 7pm, and May 1 at 3pm.
The Cooperative was founded two-and-a half years ago, in a desire to create change and confront injustices in our society, and to transform an operatic landscape which mirrored these injustices.
Since then, an array of productions has been brought to the stage (or rather, the church, rooftop, or park!) spanning multiple centuries, continents, languages and styles. With a team of nearly 100 emerging artists, The Cooperative has told stories which form the core of the operatic canon, given much-needed performance to rare works, and explored contemporary repertoire, all through the lens of our society today.
Le Nozze di Figaro was Mozart’s and da Lorenzo da Ponte’s first operatic collaboration, based on Pierre Beaumarchais’ play La Folle Journée, ou Le Mariage de Figaro that premiered in Paris in 1784.
Only five years before the storming of the Bastille in Paris, political tensions ran high in France, and a tale of a corrupt and immoral aristocrat outwitted by his servants was highly controversial and was immediately forbidden from public performance.
When the opera was first performed in Vienna in 1786, on the cusp of the French Revolution, after multiple further revisions driven by continuing censorship, Le Nozze di Figaro was an immediate popular and critical success.
Mozart’s exquisite music and da Ponte’s compellingly witty libretto, tied together with a biting social commentary, make this opera one of the supreme masterpieces of operatic comedy. The sublime arias of Le Nozze di Figaro are still as fresh and irresistible today as they were at the premiere – and the social pertinence as heightened as ever.