Thomson Smillie’s series of Opera Explained audiobooks on individual operatic works is the perfect introduction for the would-be opera fan. Each title in the series runs about an hour, features plenty of recorded clips, and is narrated with pluck and good humor by David Timson. Your opera education starts here.
Praised by many as the single greatest opera ever, The Marriage of Figaro may be Mozart’s finest achievement. Premiering in Vienna in 1786, the opera was based on a play and depicted a servant - Figaro - outsmarting his master. The most casual listener will recognize several pieces from the opera, including its explosive overture.
Many opera-lovers would name The Marriage of Figaro as their favorite opera. It appeals to the most intellectual listener, but also to music-lovers seeking great melodies and ensembles (while it remains accessible through its fascinating plot and memorable characters) and to those seeking only entertainment. One of three operas by Mozart to libretti by Lorenzo da Ponte, it represents one of the pinnacles not just of operatic but of human achievement.
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