Le nozze di Figaro

The characters

Learn more about the characters in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro

Figaro

Bass-baritone
  • Clever
  • Daring
  • Enterprising

Photo: Alastair Muir

  • The main character in a popular trilogy of plays by French playwright Beaumarchais.
  • The same Figaro as in Il barbiere di Siviglia but several years older.
  • Based on the wily servants of commedia dell’arte, the improvised Italian popular comedy dating back to the Renaissance.

Susanna

Soprano
  • Clever
  • Brave
  • Resourceful

Photo:Alastair Muir

  • The opera’s longest role – she’s rarely off stage, has two arias and sings in every ensemble.
  • Based on the clever, feisty female servants of commedia dell’arte.
  • Uses all her charm and wits to fend off the advances of her boss, the Count, and remain faithful to her fiancé, Figaro.

Count Almaviva

Baritone
  • Arrogant
  • Entitled
  • Lecherous

Photo: Alastair Muir

  • Lord of the Aguas-Frescas estate, near Seville, where Le nozze di Figaro takes place.
  • In Il barbiere di Siviglia, the first play of the Beaumarchais Figaro trilogy, he hires Figaro to help him win his beloved Rosina, now Countess Almaviva.
  • Having won his Countess, he has become bored with married life and now uses his noble rank to prey upon subordinate women.

Countess Almaviva

Soprano
  • Faithful
  • Courageous
  • Forgiving

Photo: Alastair Muir

  • The spirited young Rosina from Il barbiere di Siviglia, who Figaro and Count Almaviva take away from her guardian, Dr Bartolo.
  • In Le nozze di Figaro Rosina has become a mature woman, despondent over her husband’s infidelity.
  • Not too proud to enlist the help of her servant and confidante, Susanna, who she regards as an equal.

Cherubino

Mezzo-soprano/soprano
  • Charming
  • Passionate
  • Reckless

Photo: Alastair Muir

  • An example of a ‘trouser role’ in opera: a woman playing an adolescent boy with an unbroken voice.
  • A young adolescent ruled by his hormones, he is in love with the Countess but that doesn’t stop him flirting with Susanna, Barbarina and any other young woman.
  • Before La mère coupable, the third play of the Figaro trilogy, Countess Almaviva gives birth to the child of Cherubino, who has been killed in battle.

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