Figaro. Performance of the "Kremlin Ballet"
Ballet, two acts
W.A.Mozart and G.Rossini.
Libretto by Andrei Petrov based on P.A.Beaumarchais’ comedy duology.
Choreography, direction and musical adaption by Andrei Petrov, people’s artist of the Russian Federation, Moscow Award laureate.
Scene designer is Grigory Belov, merited art worker of the Russian Federation.
Costume designer is Olga Polyanskaya.
Singing orchestration by Vladimir Kachesov.
Assistants to Choreographer-director are Lyudmila Charskaya and Valery Ryzhov.
In over two centuries Pierre Beaumarchais’s comedy more than once attracted attention of both composers and choreographer-directors. The latter were mostly turning to “The Marriage of Figaro” and as a result a miniature one-act ballet was produced.
A two-act performance offered by choreographer-director Andrei Petrov to the spectators is a kind of an experiment. It is a combination of music by Rossini, author of the opera “The Barber of Seville”, and Mozart, author of “The Marriage of Figaro”. The ballet’s first act is directed on the basis of “The Barber of Seville” with the focus on love story of Count of Almaviva and Rosina ending by their engagement. The second one based on “The Marriage of Figaro, or The Day of Madness” is about twists and turns of Figaro and Susanne’s love.
A comedy solved by means of classical choreography.
A bright play of young soloists, humorous situations. A life-asserting, amusing and lyrical performance.
The performance is accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra Radio Orpheus (Artistic managing director and Principal conductor - Sergey Kondrashov).
The Barber of Seville or Vain Precautions
Scene One. In a Seville Street
Barber Figaro is as vital to the inhabitants of Seville as the air they breathe – he puts on wigs, powders and combs them out and, because he makes them look good, he puts everyone in a good mood.
Enter Count Almaviva, disguised in a clock and hat. He asks Figaro to help him win the love of young Rosina, Doctor Bartolo’s ward. He takes on Figaro as his man-servant, but says he will pay him later on. Figaro agrees. Especially as he is very much taken by Susanna, Rosina’s maid. Figaro arranges to meet the rich Marcellina by Doctor Bartolo’s house. She has promised to lend him some money. During the duet between Figaro and Marcellina it becomes obvious that she finds him attractive. They agree the terms of the loan: if Figaro does not repay his debt, he will have to marry Marcellina. Money in exchange for an oath: both parties are content. Late in the evening, Figaro hires musicians to play a serenade under Rosina’s balcony. But the time the Count arrives, everything is ready and the musicians strike up. Rosina’s window lights up and she comes out on to her balcony. But her guardian, Bartolo, has also heard the serenade and he forces his ward to immediately go back into her room and not to appear on the balcony again. Bartolo leaves the house, locking it up as he goes. Almaviva and Figaro follow him. The deft servant manages to steal the key from Bartolo and Rosina is freed from captivity. Rosina falls for the Count, true, she has no idea that he is a grandee. Figaro is ready to help them in their amorous plans. Doctor Bartolo returns home and spends a long time looking for his “lost” key, when Figaro produces it Bartolo becomes suspicious. A detachment of soldiers march into the town. The sergeant distributes billeting orders to them. Having managed to hold of one of these documents, Figaro thinks up a new plan which is to the Count’s liking.
Scene Two. Bedroom in Bartolo’s house
Bartolo, who is asleep, has a vision that he is leading his ward to the altar. This is something he has long dreamed of. He gets up and, clad in night-cap and night-shirt, paces through his rooms, imagining he is embrac¬ing the beautiful Rosina.
A drunken soldier turns up at the house. When Bartolo and his servants try to get rid of him, the soldier pro¬duces his billeting order. A heated argument ensues which develops into a fight. During the uproar, a big mirror gets broken and Bartolo summons the police. The latter give chase to the disturber of the peace who manages to give them the slip. Rosina, who has recognized the soldier as being the Count, is delighted by her sweet¬heart’s audacity. And Figaro’s ingenious cunning thrills Susanna.
A thwarted Count Almaviva and Figaro indulge in wistful reveries about their loved ones: Rosina and Susanna.
But Figaro has a new plan! He disguises the Count look like Don Basilio, the music and dancing teacher is an acquaintance of Doctor Bartolo’s to whom the latter is well disposed. Rosina who immediately understands the ploy, enters into the spirit of the game. However, her duet with the “teacher”-count is continually interrupted by her suspicious guardian who keeps coming into the room. Barber Figaro shaves Bartolo in an attempt to distract his attention. Meanwhile, the Count proposes to Rosina who agrees to become his wife. Suddenly, the real Don Basilio appears in the house. Positioning himself behind the shattered mirror, the disguised Count does his best to portray himself as the dancing teacher’s reflection. But Basilio is not so easily taken in – he overcomes the hallucination in the mirror and the count is unmasked. Bartolo suspects Rosina of
being party to the conspiracy and drives the Count from his home. He also bans barber Figaro from the house.
Scene Three. By Bartolo’s house
Having made sure Rosina is firmly locked indoors, Bartolo and Basilio make urgent preparations for the latter’s wedding. Figaro finds a ladder and the Count climbs through the window of Rosina’s bedroom. On seeing this, Don Basilio rushes off to summon the soldiers to arrest him. Soldiers, the notary, an orchestra and the citizens of Seville gather in the square by the house. Bartolo opens the door and out steps Almaviva, dressed in the robes of a grandee, together with Rosina. Everyone congratulates the betrothed couple. The notary registers the betrothal to the rejoicing of those present. Figaro is pleased, true, he never did get any money from the Count, and had to spend his own.
The mad day or the marriage of Figaro
Scene Four. The park before Count Almaviva’s Palace
In the morning, the Count and Countess are present at a festive celebration in honor of Figaro and Susanna’s forthcoming wedding. The Count still has to give his consent to the wedding of his retainers. In exchange of this, he hopes to persuade Susanna to have an affair with him, for he has already lost interest in Countess Rosina. The good-for-nothing Cherubino, the Count’s page, spends all his time chasing after women and the Count gives the order that he be dispatched to serve in the army. Old acquaintances turn up at the park: Doctor Bartolo, Don Basilio and the notary. They have come, together with Marcellina, to demand Figaro repay his debt or marry Marcellina. The Count realizes that he may be able to use this circumstance to his own advantage and get the barber’s wedding to Susanna postponed.
Scene Five. The Countetess’s Bedroom
The Countess tries to arouse her husband’s desire, for she still loves him as before. But to no avail – Alma¬viva goes off, leaving Rosina in pensive mood. Cherubino runs in, he is fleeing from the Count’s soldiers and servants. Panic-stricken, he hides under a chair. The Countess and Susanna conceal him with their skirts. The danger over, Cherubino starts to declare his love to the Countess. The Count enters unexpectedly. Seeing Cherubino’s tricorne, he demands to know where the young scoundrel is hiding. The Countess and Susanna do not reveal Cherubino’s hiding-place. When the Countess leaves the room, the Count begins to flirt with Susanna. Realizing it will not be easy to shake off her master, Susanna agrees to secret meeting with him in the park. The Count departs in good spirits. The Countess, Susanna, Fanshetta and Cherubino, whom they have disguised as a woman, devise a plan which will bring the Count to his senses and solve all their problems.
Scene Six. Festivity in the Park
Marcellina and her assistant eventually catch up with Figaro and hold him to his promise. This time they have brought a judge along with them. The Count asks them to wait and to solve their differences after the festivity.
Dressed up as flowers and gardeners, the Count’s retainers enact a joyful pageant before their master. Almavi¬va himself takes part in the performance, dancing with an attractive flower, little suspecting that it is Cherubino. But with assistance from the ubiquitous Basilio this fact comes to
light. The chase after Cherubino is renewed but, without success, for all help him to avoid capture. Pelting rain and a storm are also on the runway’s side.
Figaro is upset. He has understood that the Count means to detective him and is depressed by his treachery. He has almost ceased to believe that his dreams will come true. Susanna helps him overcome his doubts.
Scene Seven. A remote corner of the park
Having received a note from Susanna, the Count, accompanied by Basilio, turns up for the rendezvous. Here too are Figaro and all the rest of the plotters. Eventually, Susanna arrives. The Count leaves his hiding-place. On hearing their passionate duet, Figaro, who is concealed in the bushes, is out of his mind with jealousy, he, after all? Has no idea that, under Susanna’s cloak, is the Countess. Figaro does everything he can think of top interrupt the assignation and in this he is successful. Now another pair of lovers, in masks, appear on the scene: The horrified Count recognizes the Countess and Cherubino. He intends to expose his unfaithful wife! The Count summons servants armed with torches. The lovers are surrounded by the palace retainers. The Count tears the mask from the “Countess’s” face – but before him stands Fanshetta! And “Susanna” turns out to be the Countess! All roar with laughter at the Count’s expense. And he begs his wife’s forgiveness. Rosina takes pity on her realizes how much she loves him. At long last, Almaviva gives his consent to the wedding of Figaro and Susanna and to that of Cherubino and Fanshetta. The Countess pays off Marcellina so she and Bartolo are quite content too. Fireworks, in the shape of stars, are let off over the park in celebration of the wedding of
Figaro and Susanna and Cherubino and Fanshetta.