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Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point, Sydney


Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Running time

Approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes, including one interval.

Production Partner

A chaotic whirlwind of mistaken identities makes the wedding day of Figaro and Susanna a lesson in hilarity.

With a witty, fast-moving libretto and hum-along melodies, it’s easy to see why Mozart’s classic comedy continues to charm audiences the world over.

Musically, this is the ultimate ensemble opera, with brilliant trios, quartets and even a fantastic sextet laced through the score. Dramatically, it’s the opera with everything: lovers and liaisons, tricks and disguises, lust and laughter.

The Countess loves Count Almaviva, but he’s got designs on her servant Susanna. It’s Susanna’s wedding day, and Figaro has no plans of giving up his bride. In one crazy day of disguises, duplicity, desire and utter madness, the fiancés must foil the philandering noble’s seductive advances.

Young soprano Stacey Alleaume reprises her role as Susanna. Russian soprano Ekaterina Morozova is the Countess with Tommaso Barea as Figaro. Mario Cassi is the Count.

Sir David McVicar’s naturalistic staging opens a “comic cauldron of sex and social politics” (Limelight), where the comedy has a dark, sharp edge.

True to 17th-century design and detail, historical fashion specialist Jenny Tiramani clothes the aristocracy in ravishing silks and the servants in cornflower blue. David Finn’s radiant lighting streams through vaulted windows illuminating enormous rooms in sunlight and moonbeams as day turns to night.

Cast & Creative

Revival Director
Set & Costume Designer
Lighting Designer
Ekaterina Morozova
Dr Bartolo
Don Basilio
Don Curzio
First Bridesmaid
Second Bridesmaid

Opera Australia Chorus
Opera Australia Orchestra

Cheat Sheet: The Marriage of Figaro

Everything you need to know about one of the world's most classic comedy

What happens in the story? Who was the composer? What should I expect from the music? Here’s everything you need to know…

Read the cheat sheet

The Marriage of Figaro: The Costumes

We talked to costume designer Jenny Tiramini about her intricate designs

Read how she does it and the design process that brought the characters to life.

See the designs


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Keeping you safe at the theatre

COVID Safety

Our performances will comply with all Public Health Orders and adhere to our epidemiologist-approved COVID-Safe Plan, including any requirement at the time of the performance that audience members be vaccinated. Full details of our COVID-Safe Plan will be published online closer to the event.

The Marriage of Figaro at Sydney Opera House (2019)

Photographer: Prudence Upton

The Marriage of Figaro at Sydney Opera House (2019)

Photographer: Prudence Upton

The Marriage of Figaro at Sydney Opera House (2019)

Photographer: Prudence Upton

The Marriage of Figaro at Sydney Opera House (2019)

Photographer: Prudence Upton

The Marriage of Figaro at Sydney Opera House (2019)

Photographer: Prudence Upton

The Marriage of Figaro at Sydney Opera House (2019)

Photographer: Prudence Upton

The Marriage of Figaro at Sydney Opera House (2019)

Photographer: Prudence Upton


Act I

Figaro and Susanna are getting ready for their wedding. Susanna warns Figaro that the room the Count has allocated them will make it easier for the Count to approach her. Although the Count has renounced his droit de seigneur (the right of a feudal lord to the virginity of any bride within his domain), he wants to revive it secretly in Susanna’s case. The Countess rings for Susanna. Figaro promises to teach the Count a lesson.

Marcellina and Dr Bartolo discuss Marcellina’s marriage ‘contract’ with Figaro (an old IOU in default of which Figaro promised marriage). Bartolo is delighted to take revenge on Figaro by forcing him to marry Marcellina, since it was Figaro who once prevented him from marrying Rosina, now the Countess. Marcellina tells Susanna that the Count’s interest in her is common knowledge – she hopes that this will cause Susanna to deny the Count thereby angering him and making him support Marcellina’s marital claims on Figaro as revenge against Susanna.

Cherubino tells Susanna how the Count caught him alone with Barbarina, and is now sending him away. He is also upset that he will not see the Countess again. He manages to grab one of the Countess’ ribbons, and in exchange gives Susanna a song he has written. The Count interrupts them, and Cherubino hides behind the rubbish trolley. The Count tells Susanna he loves her, but he too is interrupted, this time by Basilio, and ducks behind the trolley forcing Cherubino to hide behind a sheet. Basilio tells Susanna she’d be better off with the Count than with Cherubino, who is also chasing her. The Count comes out of hiding, and tells Basilio to find Cherubino; but the Count himself finds Cherubino under the sheet. Cherubino has heard everything.

Figaro has organised a crowd to sing the Count’s praises for renouncing the droit de seigneur. He is trying publicly to force the Count to celebrate an impromptu early wedding. The Count knows of Marcellina’s contract, and stalls. Susanna begs the Count to pardon Cherubino, but the Count sends him off to join the army. Figaro wishes him well.


Act II

The Countess prays for her husband’s love. When Susanna tells her that the Count has tried to seduce her, they scheme with Figaro to expedite the wedding and keep the Count faithful to his wife. Figaro has sent the Count an ‘anonymous’ note to warn him that the Countess is planning an assignation. This will distract the Count by sending him into a jealous rage. Susanna warns that Marcellina could still prevent the wedding. Figaro suggests they send Cherubino, dressed as a girl, to meet the Count in the garden instead of Susanna. The Countess will then catch him in mid-seduction, and have him at her mercy.

Susanna and the Countess begin to feminise Cherubino, and notice that his commission has no seal. The Countess finds the stolen ribbon, decides to keep it, and sends Susanna for a replacement. Cherubino and the Countess almost kiss.

The Count tries to enter the room, but the door is locked. Cherubino hides in the closet. The Countess opens the door, and the Count confronts her with Figaro’s anonymous note arranging an assignation. Cherubino knocks over something in the closet, and the Count suspects that this is the Countess’ lover in hiding. The Countess says it is Susanna. When the Countess refuses to unlock the closet door, the Count takes her to fetch tools to force it open. Susanna lets Cherubino out of the closet. He jumps out of the window and runs away.

As the Count re-enteres and prepares to force the door, the Countess admits that the person hiding is not Susanna, but Cherubino. The Count opens the door, but it is Susanna who emerges. The Countess confronts the Count with his unjust suspicions, and he begs forgiveness. She explains that the note from Figaro was sent to test him. The Count prevents Figaro from leading them off to the wedding, and asks him to explain the note. He denies knowing anything about it, but the Countess and Susanna tell him they have explained everything. The Count wishes Marcellina would hurry up and put a stop to the wedding. Antonio says he saw a man jump out of the Countess's window. Figaro says that he was the one who jumped, and that he has twisted his ankle. Antonio has found Cherubino's commission, and the women prompt Figaro to explain that it needed the Count's seal. Marcellina demands that Figaro marries her in repayment of the loan. The Count promises to give his judgement.

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