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3 October 2014
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In Night Waves Landmarks tomorrow night/tonight, Isabel Hilton and guests explore one of Mozart's best-loved operas, The Marriage of Figaro.

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In the 250 th anniversary year of Mozart's birth, Night Waves delves into the opera to examine the mechanics of its musical ingenuity, and to find out what makes it such an iconic work.

Based on a comedy by the French dramatist Beaumarchais, Mozart and his librettist were commissioned to turn the work into an opera on the condition that some of its revolutionary zeal - in particular its mockery of the upper class - was expunged.

Despite these strictures, the opera retained layers of political subversiveness and went on to became a monumentally successful work. Its portrayal of women was also radical, and it epitomised, perhaps more than any work of the period, the philosophical precepts of Enlightenment thinking.

How did Mozart turn a social comedy bordering on farce into such a transgressive work, and where does his opera sit within our cultural landscape?

Find out with Isabel Hilton and her guests, who include the acclaimed conductor Jane Glover , who has conducted Figaro countless times over three decades; the theatre director Jatinda Verma who is currently working on a new production of Beaumarchais' original play; and John Deathridge , Professor of music at King's College London.

'Mozart's Women' by Jane Glover is published by Macmillan.




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