Excellence in Performing Arts Research


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera buffa, Le nozze di Figaro features a strong, memorable female character named Susanna, who is the countess’ maid. Mozart reworked and even changed much of Susannah’s part, rewriting both of Susanna’s arias for the Vienna revival production in 1789. Through particular study of “Al desio di chi t'adora,” which replaced “Deh, vieni, non tardar,” we can gain a better understanding of the evolution of this progressive, innovative character. I propose that the development of Susanna’s character through this aria, as well as the opera as a whole, exemplifies the growing awareness of gender and class relations that finally came to fruition with the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789 (the same year as the Vienna revival of Figaro).



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