Mozart &
Material Culture


Comic opera (text: Lorenzo Da Ponte) in four acts, first performed at the Burgtheater, Vienna, on 1 May 1786. Le nozze di Figaro figured prominently in Viennese opera politics, in particular among partisans of Italian opera by Italian composers, Italian operas by German composers, and German opera. Figaro in particular was singled out as evidence of the superiority of German composition in the field of Italian opera, as a pamphlet (Über das deutsche Singspiel den Apotheker des Hern. V. Dittersdorf) published in Vienna in 1786 makes clear:

  1. . . . it came to the point —the poor German muse, hunted from the stage in order to tyrannize our taste with foreign productions (and there have been significant wagers with which the gloating foreign partisans jeered at so many native lovers of the art) — that it was unlikely ever again to find a German opera at the National Theatre . . . [or] to hear good music for an Italian Singspiel by a German master. They have completely lost their bet, for Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro, and the subsequently reintroduced German opera, have put to shame the ridiculous pride of this fashionable sect.
Playbill for the first performance of Le nozze di Figaro at the Burgtheatre, 1 May 1786

Playbill for the first performance of Le nozze di Figaro at the Burgtheater, 1 May 1786

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus (1756-1791)
Date 1
1785 (Autumn)
Date 2

Pages referencing Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: K492 Le nozze di Figaro:

Souvenir and expression in Mozart’s music