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Subject: Re: A note to all the women on the list.
From: Frank Drake <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Frank Drake <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 29 Apr 2010 11:47:29 -0400

text/plain (45 lines)

-----Original Message-----
>From: Maria Nockin <[log in to unmask]>
>RE Marcellina's aria from Act 4 of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.
>This is the aria that is almost always cut.
>Recitativo                           Recitative
>MARCELLINA:                          MARCELLINA:


>ah quando il cor non ciurma          ... ah, when there's
>personale interesse,                 no personal interest in it,
>ogni donna รจ portata alla difesa     all women are forced to defend
>del suo povero sesso,                those of their own poor sex,
>da questi uomini ingrati             from the cruel oppression
>a torto oppresso.                    of these ungrateful men.

The current Lyric Opera of Chicago production cut both Act IV arias this season, but in previous seasons they were included.  The "womens' lib end of the Marcellina's recitative always used to get a good laugh from the audience.  Pity Lyric couldn't include at least the recit this season.

Since Lyric's production is done in two sittings (2 acts each), those "extra" arias really made for a long evening and slowed down the action when one would rather move forward.  Furthermore, the Marcellinas we had did tend to make heavy going of the fioratura in the aria.

While I have (other than at Lyric) rarely heard Marcellina's aria in performance, Basilio's aria was often performed, especially since it is not nearly as voclly demanding.

Both arias do provide useful commentary on the opera (Marcellina: the perfidy of men -- in contrast to Figaro's aria castigating womankind; Basilio: the need in this life for a thick skin -- the one thing Figaro does NOT have at this point), but late in the evening they do become rather tedious and hard on the Sitzfleisch.


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