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The Sunday Opera: Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" from the Paris Opera

We’re off to the Paris Opera for Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” on this week’s Sunday Opera (7/10 3:00 p.m.). The story of the wayward Count Almaviva whose libido caused more than his share of troubles features Luca Pisaroni as the wily and adaptable Figaro, Yin Fang is his love Susanna on whom Almaviva has his sights set. The loving and emotionally abused Countess Rosina Is Maria Bengtsson whose plot with Susanna finally teaches Almaviva a lesson he won’t soon forget.

Other members of the cast include Lea Desandre as precocious Cherubino, James Cresswell as Dr. Bartolo, and Angelicka Kirchshlager as Dr. Bartolo’s housekeeper Marcellina. The troublesome Barbarina is Ksenila Proshina and her father, Antonio, is Matthieu Lecroart. Gustavo Dudamel conducts.

We’re changing things up after the opera for an hour of symphonic music with Gustav Mahler’s delightful Symphony No. 4 in G. The recording to which we’ll be listening is a live performance by the BBC Orchestra conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras. The 4th is the last of Mahler’s “Wunderhorn” symphonies which Mahler had based on his song cycle using the folk poetry collection ‘Des Kanben Wunderhorn” (“The Boy’s Magic Horn”). The core of the symphony is the song “Das himmilsche Leben” (“The Heavenly Life.”) This appears in the fourth movement and is sung here by soprano Sheila Armstrong.

Although met with some confusion when it was first performed, the Symphony has become one of, if not the favorite of Mahler’s Symphonies for many.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.
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