Byblos International Festival is pleased to host a unique performance of Mozart’s timeless masterpiece Le Nozze di Figaro, directed by Luca Valentino. Francesco Cilluffo will be conducting the orchestra alongside Toufic Maatouk who’ll be conducting the choir of the Antonine Fathers’ University.
A wonderful example of Lebanese and Italian collaboration, this evening includes a young and talented cast of Opera singers from both countries and is presented in collaboration with the in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute and the Antonine University.
This production stars Samar Salamé and Toufic Maatouk as the servant couple who outmaneuver their bosses (and everyone else in their world) over the course of one crazy day. Raymond Ghattas is the philandering Count, and Caroline Solage plays the role of his long-suffering wife.
Le nozze di Figaro, ossia la folle giornata (The Marriage of Figaro, or the Day of Madness), K. 492, is an opera buffa (comic opera) in four acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, based on a stage comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais, La folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro (1784).
Although the play by Beaumarchais was at first banned in Vienna because of its satire of the aristocracy, considered dangerous in the decade before the French Revolution, the opera became one of Mozart’s most successful works. The opera was the first of three collaborations between Mozart and Da Ponte; their later collaborations were Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte. It was Mozart who originally selected Beaumarchais’ play and brought it to Da Ponte, who turned it into a libretto in six weeks, rewriting it in poetic Italian and removing all of the original’s political references. In particular, Da Ponte replaced Figaro’s climactic speech against inherited nobility with an equally angry aria against unfaithful wives. Contrary to the popular myth, the libretto was approved by the Emperor, Joseph II, before Mozart wrote any music.
The action of The Marriage of Figaro is a continuation of the plot of The Barber of Seville several years later, and recounts a single “day of madness” (la folle giornata) in the palace of the Count Almaviva near Seville, Spain. Rosina is now the Countess; Dr. Bartolo is seeking revenge against Figaro for thwarting his plans to marry Rosina himself; and Count Almaviva has degenerated from the romantic youth of Barber into a scheming, bullying, skirt-chasing baritone. Having gratefully given Figaro a job as head of his servant-staff, he is now persistently trying to obtain the favors of Figaro’s bride-to-be, . He keeps finding excuses to delay the civil part of the wedding of his two servants, which is arranged for this very day. Figaro, , and the Countess conspire to embarrass the Count and expose his scheming. He responds by trying to legally compel Figaro to marry a woman old enough to be his mother, but it turns out at the last minute that she really is his mother. Through Figaro’s and ‘s clever manipulations, the Count’s love for his Countess is finally restored.
Susanna Samar SALAME
Figaro Toufic MAATOUK
Countess Rosina Almaviva Caroline SOLAGE
Count Almaviva Raymond GHATTAS
Cherubino Rosa BOVE
Marcellina Gabriella COLECCHIA
Bartolo/Antonio Alessandro KARBON
Basilio/Don Curzio Ziad NEHME
Barbarina Aline MAALOUF
Conductor Francesco CILUFFO
Choir Antonine University
Director Luca VALENTINO
Coach Gulliver RALSTON
Stage set Maroun AZOURI
Costumes Arrigo Costumi – Milan
More information: http://www.byblosfestival.org