The Marriage of Figaro

“An effervescent delight.”

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs,

“You’d be hard pressed anywhere to hear
more consistently satisfying singing.”

Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News

The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart • Figaro loves Susanna, but he’s not the only one. In a single crazy, romantic day, doors will be locked and unlocked, disguises donned, kisses exchanged and innermost hearts revealed – to some of the most memorable music Mozart ever composed. Leading this merry band is Italian bass-baritone Mirco Palazzi (Figaro), who charmed us out of our seats as Leporello in his 2010 U.S. debut, along with Austrian soprano Beate Ritter and Australian soprano Nicole Car in their exciting American debuts! Conducted by Music Director Emmanuel Villaume and staged by Dallas Theater Center Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty – this Figaro could very well be a marriage made in heaven!

Starring Mirco PalazziBeate RitterJoshua HopkinsNicole CarEmily FonsDiana MontagueKevin Langan

Conductor Emmanuel Villaume • Director Kevin Moriarty

Family Rating Adult themes, attempted seductions. Rated PG-13

Opera in Brief

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Act I

Figaro measures the room while Susanna flirts with him. When Figaro tells her that the room is to be their bedroom after their wedding, Susanna tells him that the Count wants her to submit to the droit du seigneur, a custom the Count abolished when he married the Countess. Figaro decides to outwit the Count’s plan. Bartolo and Marcellina come looking for Figaro, who has borrowed money from Marcellina with a promise to marry her if he cannot pay it back. Bartolo sees this as his opportunity to get revenge on Figaro for helping the Count win the Countess. As soon as Marcellina leaves, Cherubino rushes in, saying the Count caught him visiting Barbarina and has banished him. Susanna teases him, but Cherubino claims he can’t help being in love with every woman he meets. He hides when they hear the Count approaching. The Count asks Susanna to meet him in the garden later. Basilio enters and tells Susanna that she should avoid Cherubino because his affection for the Countess is sure to get him in trouble. The Count emerges from hiding and starts barking orders for Cherubino to be found. Susanna and Basilio try to calm the Count; he tells them how he went to visit Barbarina that morning and found Cherubino hiding beneath a table. During his demonstration, the Count reveals the teen’s current hiding place, to the consternation of Susanna and the delight of Basilio. The Count’s growing rage is interrupted by Figaro and a chorus of peasants who bring flowers and praise the Count’s abolishment of the droit du seigneur. Figaro asks the Count to bless his marriage to Susanna and renew that pledge. Afterwards, the Count appoints Cherubino captain of his regiment in Seville and orders him to depart immediately. Figaro salutes the new officer and comically describes his new life in the army.

Act II

Alone in her room, the Countess wonders how to reclaim the Count’s affections. Susanna returns, then Figaro enters and describes his plan to confuse the Count with a letter accusing the Countess. This will encourage the Count to make a latenight assignation with Susanna, which will be kept by Cherubino dressed as a woman. Then Susanna leaves by one door just as the Count arrives. Cherubino hides in the closet, which the Countess locks before she admits the Count. The Count has received Figaro’s letter and demands an explanation. When the coast is clear, Cherubino jumps out the window and Susanna hides in his place. When the Count and Countess return, the Countess confesses that Cherubino is in the closet; both she and the Count are amazed when he opens the closet and finds Susanna. Figaro comes to get the Count to bless the wedding, but the Count challenges him with the letter. Thanks to timely prompting from the women, Figaro passes that test, but the gardener, Antonio, bursts in, demanding that the Count punish the man who jumped from the Countess’s window and crushed his flowers. Figaro quickly takes the blame. Bartolo, Basilio, and Marcellina enter and demand that the Count hear Marcellina’s suit against Figaro. The act ends in an uproar of contesting claims, which the Count agrees to settle later.


Susanna, urged on by the Countess, agrees to meet the Count in the garden that night. Overhearing Susanna as she is leaving tell Figaro that they have won, the Count rages against the perfidy of servants and determines to uphold Marcellina’s claim against Figaro. Don Curzio, a lawyer, tells the parties that Figaro must either pay Marcellina or marry her. Figaro, although stolen as a baby, claims to be nobly born and, therefore, unable to marry without his parents’ permission. Marcellina recognizes a birthmark on his arm, which identifies him as her son by Bartolo. Figaro embraces his long-lost mother just as Susanna arrives with the money to pay Figaro’s debt; jumping to the wrong conclusion, she slaps Figaro. Marcellina and Bartolo decide to marry and forgive Figaro’s debt as a wedding present to their son. The Countess wonders if she will ever again be happy with the Count. Susanna arrives, and the Countess dictates a note to her husband which they seal with a pin. A group of girls, including Barbarina and a disguised Cherubino, comes to serenade the Countess and present her with flowers. March music signals the ceremony in which the Count and Countess bless the betrothed couples; Susanna gives the note to the Count.

Act IV

In the garden, Barbarina is looking for the pin from the note. Figaro gives her a pin and sends her on her way. Barbarina plans to meet Cherubino. By various means, Marcellina, Bartolo, and Basilio also wind up hiding in the pavilion. Assuming that Susanna has given in to the Count’s advances, Figaro complains about the perfidy of women. Susanna and the Countess, each dressed in the other’s clothes, arrive on the scene. The Countess steps into the shadows while Susanna pretends to wait for a lover. Cherubino comes to meet Barbarina, but in the dark he bumps into the Countess. Assuming she is Susanna, he begins to make advances. The Count also woos the woman he thinks is Susanna and gives her a ring. Susanna approaches Figaro, who recognizes her voice. Together, they put on a show for the Count’s benefit, pretending that Figaro and the Countess are lovers. The enraged Count empties the pavilion of the various characters hiding there and finds Susanna, still pretending to be the Countess. The real Countess emerges from her hiding place and confronts him with the ring he had given to “Susanna.” Realizing he has been caught, the Count begs forgiveness from his wife. Everyone is relieved that this crazy day has finished joyfully.

—By Lee T. Wilkirson
First North American serial rights only granted to The Dallas Opera. All other rights reserved.

Cast Biographies

Doug Jones (Don Basilio) With more than ninety roles in over seventy operas, American tenor Doug Jones has performed with Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, San Diego Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, The Dallas Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Opera Arizona, Opera Colorado, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Bard Festival. He has appeared in many leading European houses, including the Paris Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Liceu in Barcelona, Oper Frankfurt, Opéra de Bordeaux, and Netherlands Opera. He also appeared with the summer festivals of Salzburg, Bregenz, Innsbruck, and Aix-en-Provence. Engagements in the U.S. include Die Meistersinger and Falstaff with San Francisco Opera, and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox with Los Angeles Opera.

Mirco Palazzi (Figaro) Bass Mirco Palazzi made his American debut in 2010 at The Dallas Opera as Leporello in Don Giovanni. Born in Rimini, he graduated from Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro. He has sung with the most important opera houses in Italy (Bologna, Naples, Rome, Parma, Genova, Turin, Venice, Florence, La Scala) and abroad (Edinburgh, Barcelona, London, Liège, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Bilbao, Koln, Athens and Moscow). Some of his most recent engagements include La damnation de Faust in London and at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Maometto II in Rome, Guillaume Tell in Amsterdam and Turin, and Caterina Cornaro at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Lucia in Washington, La gazza ladra and L’Italiana in Algeri in Verona. His discography includes Zelmira, Adelaide di Borgogna, Sofonisba, and Il diluvio universale (Opera Rara), and Lucia di Lammermoor (DVD TDK).

Beate Ritter (Susanna) Austrian soprano Beate Ritter makes her U.S. operatic debut as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro for The Dallas Opera. Ms. Ritter debuted at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien in Pelléas et Mélisande. She later debuted at the Vienna Volksoper as Blonde in Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio and has performed with its ensemble as the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Carmina Burana, and Adele in Die Fledermaus. Other notable appearances include Blonde at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Angers, and Nantes, along with Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute for Komische Oper Berlin, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, and upcoming performances in Leipzig. In 2015, she will make her debut as Fiakermilli in Arabella at the Cologne Opera.

Joshua Hopkins (Count Almaviva) Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins returns to The Dallas Opera for the first time since his company debut as Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette. Upcoming performances include his debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago in Weinberg’s The Passenger and the title role in Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Canadian Opera Company. Highlights of past seasons include performances at the Metropolitan Opera in a new production of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, La bohème with the Houston Grand Opera and Canadian Opera Company, Le nozze di Figaro with Glyndebourne Opera, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at Santa Fe Opera. Mr. Hopkins also sang in recital at Carnegie Hall with pianist Julius Drake, and his first recital disc, Let Beauty Awake, has been released by ATMA Classique label.

Nicole Car (Countess Almaviva) (The Charron & Peter Denker Rising Stars Endowment Fund ) Australian soprano Nicole Car marks her United States debut with these performances at The Dallas Opera. In 2013 she was the winner of the prestigious international Neue Stimmen competition in Germany. She has portrayed the roles of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Mimi in La bohème, the Italian Singer in Capriccio, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Leila in The Pearl Fishers, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni for Opera Australia. Her performance as Micaëla in Carmen from Sydney Harbor was internationally broadcasted and is now available on CD and DVD. In 2009 she debuted as Donna Anna in Victorian Opera’s production of Don Giovanni. Concert appearances have included Brahms’ Deutsches Requiem, and Mozart’s Requiem.

Emily Fons (Cherubino) American mezzo-soprano Emily Fons makes her Dallas Opera mainstage debut as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro. Ms. Fons made her European debut as Megacle in Vivaldi’s L’Olimpiade with Garsington Opera. She also appeared as Sesto in Michigan Opera Theatre’s production of Giulio Cesare. Ms. Fons was a member of the Ryan Center for Young American Artists at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and enjoyed great success as Nicklausse in Les contes d’Hoffmann, conducted by Emmanuel Villaume. At Lyric Opera she also sang Fyodor in Boris Godunov, Mercédès in Carmen, and Peep Bo in The Mikado, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. She made her Santa Fe Opera debut as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro. She was a mezzo-soprano soloist in a Dallas Opera Family Concert.

Diana Montague (Marcellina) British mezzo-soprano Diana Montague makes her Dallas Opera debut in this production of The Marriage of Figaro, a role she has performed with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, English National Opera, the Zürich Opera, and the Cleveland Orchestra. Other opera engagements have included Albert Herring, Ermione, and The Bartered Bride for Glyndebourne, Le comte Ory in Lausanne, Rome, and Glyndebourne, Sesto in La clemenza di Tito in Madrid and Athens, the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos for Scottish Opera and Lisbon, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier for English National Opera, Bilbao and Madrid. Ms. Montague’s recordings include Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Nuova Era), Norma (Decca), Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride (Phillips) and Le nozze di Figaro (Chandos).

Kevin Langan (Dr. Bartolo) American bass Kevin Langan returns to The Dallas Opera for Dr. Bartolo, a role he first sang with the company in 2002. He debuted here in 1986 as Ashby in La fanciulla del West and returned for performances in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Hoiby’s The Tempest, Ariodante, Roméo et Juliette, Turandot and Die Zauberflöte. His career spans 35 years and almost 1,300 performances covering a vast repertoire of over 80 roles. Mr. Langan recently became the first artist to reach 300 performances in leading roles at San Francisco Opera. For Lyric Opera of Chicago he has given over 125 performances and over 165 performances with the Santa Fe Opera. Other engagements have included Colline in La bohème and Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Metropolitan Opera.

Doug Jones (Don Basilio) With more than ninety roles in over seventy operas, American tenor Doug Jones has performed with Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, San Diego Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, The Dallas Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Opera Arizona, Opera Colorado, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Bard Festival. He has appeared in many leading European houses, including the Paris Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Liceu in Barcelona, Oper Frankfurt, Opéra de Bordeaux, and Netherlands Opera. He also appeared with the summer festivals of Salzburg, Bregenz, Innsbruck, and Aix-en-Provence. Engagements in the U.S. include Die Meistersinger and Falstaff with San Francisco Opera, and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox with Los Angeles Opera.

Angela Mannino (Barbarina) Soprano Angela Mannino made her Dallas Opera debut as Papagena in Mozart’s The Magic Flute in 2012. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in May 2010 as the 15 Year-Old Girl in Berg’s Lulu. During her two seasons with Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center, she sang Blonde in The Abduction from the Seraglio (debut), Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro. Recent engagements include Lyric Opera of Chicago in Parsifal, Wolf Trap Opera as Colombina in Le donne curiose, Fiorilla in Il turco in Italia and Agrippa in the world premiere of John Musto’s The Inspector. A native of New Orleans, she has performed with the New Orleans Opera, Jefferson Performing Arts Society, and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

Adam Lau (Antonio) Bass Adam Lau makes his Dallas Opera debut as Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro, a role he sang last year at the Santa Fe Opera. Other recent credits include Timur in Turandot at West Bay Opera, Masetto in Don Giovanni at Rice University, Dr. Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Leporello in Don Giovanni, and King Louis XVI in The Ghost of Versailles with the Aspen Opera Theater. In 2008, he made his San Francisco Opera debut as a Baobab/Hunter in The Little Prince. Mr. Lau placed second in the Western Regional finals of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He returned to San Francisco in 2011 for the Merola Opera program as Don Basilio in their production of Il barbiere di Siviglia.

Jon Kolbet (Don Curzio) Tenor Jon Kolbet returns to The Dallas Opera as Don Curzio in The Marriage of Figaro, the role that served as his company debut in 2002. Career highlights have included Valzacchi in Der Rosenkavalier, Spoletta in Tosca, the Simpleton in Boris Godunov, Guillot de Morfontaine in Manon, the Dancing Master in Manon Lescaut, the Schoolmaster/Mosquito in The Cunning Little Vixen, the Snake/Vain Man in the world premiere of Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince, and Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte—all with Houston Grand Opera. Other engagements have included Goro in Madama Butterfly with San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Utah Opera, and L’Opéra de Montréal, Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro with Houston Grand Opera, Portland Opera, Utah Opera, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Production Staff Biographies

Emmanuel Villaume (Conductor) (Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director in honor of Graeme Jenkins) Emmanuel Villaume is in his second season as music director of The Dallas Opera and will conduct Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta this season. He made his debut with the company in 1998 conducting Faust and returned to conduct Le nozze di Figaro. He is a frequent guest conductor at the world’s leading opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, the Washington National Opera, Santa Fe Opera, London’s Royal Opera, the Paris Opera, Monte Carlo Opera, Venice’s La Fenice, the Munich Staatsoper, Berlin’s Deutsche Oper, the Hamburg Staatsoper, Madrid’s Teatro Real, and Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colon. He has led the Montreal Symphony in Montreal and at Carnegie Hall, the Chicago Symphony, the Boston Symphony, the orchestras of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, St. Louis, Detroit, Minnesota, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Beethovenhalle Orchestra of Bonn, and the China National Opera Orchestra for the 2008 Olympic Games. He is currently Chief Conductor of the National Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra. He served as the Spoleto Festival USA’s Music Director for Opera and Orchestra from 2001 to 2010. Maestro Villaume has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Decca and EMI.

Kevin Moriarty (Stage Director) Kevin Moriarty is the artistic director of Dallas Theater Center, where he has directed It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman, The Who’s Tommy, The Wiz, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry IV, The Tempest, Fat Pig, Next Fall, his original adaptation of A Christmas Carol, and Oedipus el Rey. He made his operatic directing debut with The Lighthouse (2012) for The Dallas Opera. For DTC he headed up the move into the Wyly Theatre, the creation of the Brierley Resident Acting Company, and an extensive series of productions of new plays. Mr. Moriarty is the Vice-Chair of the Dallas Arts District, Theatre Communications Group, and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, and is a Trustee for the Booker T. Washington Advisory Board.

John Bury (Production Designer) (1925-2000) Mr. Bury was a British set designer who was head of design for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre. He also created sets for the Royal Opera House and the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. His bold, stylized sets—which often incorporated such materials as metal, glass, and brick and featured dramatic architectural structures—were a radical departure from the painted, decorative sets that had characterized traditional British theatre. In 1981 he won Tony Awards for best set design and best lighting for the Broadway production of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus. Bury was made an OBE in 1979.

Mark McCullough (Lighting Designer) Lighting designer Mark McCullough made his Dallas Opera debut in 2001 with Tobias Picker’s Thérèse Raquin, and has subsequently lit Anna Bolena and Roberto Devereux. Among the other opera companies for whom he has designed lighting are the Metropolitan Opera (Le nozze di Figaro), Washington Opera (Die Walküre, Das Rheingold, and Porgy and Bess), Royal Opera Covent Garden (The Queen of Spades), Boston Lyric Opera (Aida, Madama Butterfly, and Tosca), Glimmerglass Opera (The Glassblowers and The Mother of Us All), San Francisco Opera (Rigoletto and The Mother of Us All), and Teatro Real de Madrid (Luisa Miller). The American designer is an alumnus of the North Carolina School of the Arts and holds a Master’s of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama.

David Zimmerman (Wig and Make-up Designer) David Zimmerman has worked with The Dallas Opera and other opera companies around the world. These include the Metropolitan Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Santa Fe Opera, Paris National Opera, and Opera Santa Barbara. Mr. Zimmerman’s career extends to Broadway as well, where he has worked on shows including Wicked, Rocky Horror, Show Boat, South Pacific and Evita. His personal clients include Deborah Voigt, Joyce DiDonato, Patricia Racette, Martha Stewart, Olympia Dukakis, and Ricky Martin. He has also done the make-up for the DIFFA Fashion Runway, Dallas Fashion and Art Charity, and the fashion event. His print credits include two features in Opera News plus features in both Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Television and film credits include Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year and a feature film.

Joel Ferrell (Choreographer) Joel Ferrell is the Associate Artistic Director at Dallas Theater Center. His directing/choreography credits include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat, Cabaret, and A Christmas Carol. Dallas Theater Center directing credits include Clybourne Park, Red, God of Carnage, Dividing the Estate, reasons to be pretty, The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, and Cotton Patch Gospel. Dallas Theater Center choreography credits include It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Who’s Tommy, and My Fair Lady. Mr. Ferrell is a former Artistic Director of Casa Mañana Musicals Inc. in Fort Worth. He has worked extensively across the country for Portland Center Stage, Papermill Playhouse, Ford’s Theatre, Lyric Theater of Oklahoma and North Shore Music Theatre, among others.

Alexander Rom (Chorus Master) A native of Kharkov, Ukraine, Alexander Rom holds a Masters Degree in Choral Conducting from Leningrad Conservatory of Music. Since immigrating to the U.S., he has worked as a performer, conductor, educator, voice teacher, opera coach, and composer. He has been the chorus master for The Dallas Opera since 1990 and an opera coach with the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Savonlinna Opera Festival, Cincinnati Festival, and Ravinia Festival. He has worked with world renowned singers including Paul Plishka, Mirella Freni, Nikolai Ghiaurov, Jorma Hynninen, Helga Dernesch, Martti Talvela, Joyce DiDonato, and Jerry Hadley. Maestro Rom is an honorary Visiting Professor at Sibelius Academy Helsinki Conservatory and was a Visiting Professor at Savonlinna Opera Festival Music Institute.

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

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The season's performances of this production have concluded.