Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera buffa, Le nozze di Figaro features a strong, memorable female character named Susanna, who is the countess’ maid. Mozart reworked and even changed much of Susannah’s part, rewriting both of Susanna’s arias for the Vienna revival production in 1789. Through particular study of “Al desio di chi t'adora,” which replaced “Deh, vieni, non tardar,” we can gain a better understanding of the evolution of this progressive, innovative character. I propose that the development of Susanna’s character through this aria, as well as the opera as a whole, exemplifies the growing awareness of gender and class relations that finally came to fruition with the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789 (the same year as the Vienna revival of Figaro).
The Many Disguises of Susanna
Heredos, Rosemary (2014). The Many Disguises of Susanna: A Comparison of the 1786 Premiere and the 1789 Revival of Mozart’s "Le nozze di Figaro". Excellence in Performing Arts Research Vol. 1 doi: 10.21038/epar.2014.0102. Retrieved from https://oaks.kent.edu/epar/vol1/iss1/many-disguises-susanna-comparison-1786-premiere-and-1789-revival-mozarts-le-nozze-di
This paper won the Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research, 2013-14.