Woman's Identity II: Loss and Legitimacy

Kristi Brown-Montesano

in Understanding the Women of Mozart's Operas

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780520248021
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932968 | DOI:
Woman's Identity II: Loss and Legitimacy

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The premieres of Le barbier de Seville (1775) and Le mariage de Figaro (1784) were separated by nine years of royalty disputes, censorship, and imperial prohibition. Le marriage was an amazing success, but Beaumarchais indicated in the preface of its first edition that he regretted having cut one particular passage: Marceline's imposing speech on the injustices and abuses which men inflict on women of every rank. In the original play, her wild scheme to force Figaro's hand in marriage as payment of a debt he owes her seems like a desperate grab at the happiness she was denied long ago.

Keywords: marriage; Marceline; Figaro; Beaumarchais; barbier de Seville

Chapter.  7048 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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