The Marriage of Figaro

Front Cover, 1994 - Drama - 104 pages
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Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-1799) was an exceptional French writer of prose comedy during the eighteenth century. He is best known for his theatrical works of the three Figaro plays. Beaumarchais had an action-filled career as a watchmaker, musician, secret agent, businessman, diplomat and a financer of revolutions. His literary career was as turbulent as his personal life. After a series of lawsuits in Paris, the accounts of his trials made his reputation as a sarcastic, effective, and recognized writer. "The Marriage of Figaro" is the second in the Figaro Trilogy, preceded by "The Barber of Seville" and followed by "The Guilty Mother". It was originally a comic opera, or a mixture of spoken play with music. This play was considered a foreshadowing of the French Revolution in its offense of the rights of the aristocracy. It was first banned in Vienna due to its satire of the nobility, considered dangerous in the decade before the revolution. Thanks to the great success of its predecessor, it opened with enormous success, eventually becoming one of Mozart's most successful operatic works.

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About the author (1994)

The son of a clockmaker, Pierre de Beaumarchais pursued a number of trades before finding his vocation in the theater. His two masterpieces, The Barber of Seville (1775) and The Marriage of Figaro (1785), rejuvenated the somewhat dreary, sentimental theater of the time by introducing witty verbal exchanges, sharply drawn characters, and strong satire. The popularity of the two plays led to their being recast in operatic form by Rossini and Mozart respectively. In the character of Figaro, the sly playful servant who turns social hierarchy upside down, Beaumarchais gave expression to the new social transformations signaled by the French and American revolutions.

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