The Mozart/DaPonte Operas: The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte

In 1786 Mozart collaborated with poet Lorenzo Da Ponte to write The Marriage of Figaro, an opera based on a play by French author Pierre-Augustin Canon de Beaumarchais. The opera was an instant success and led the two to collaborate again with Don Giovanni in 1787 and Così fan tutte in 1790. Today these are considered to be Mozart’s finest operas and continue to be among his most popular works. This seminar will explore the background of the Mozart/DaPonte collaboration, how the stories were chosen, critical and audience reception, and how Mozart chose to develop the plots musically.

Venue: The Engineering Center
Meets on: Tuesdays 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Starting: 3/29/2022
Sessions: 6
Class Size: 24
Teaching Style: Lecture and discussion
Weekly Preparation: None
Group Leader Biography:

Bradford Conner and Benjamin Sears have been performing together since 1989 and lecture regularly on the music they perform. Conner and Sears are leading scholars of Irving Berlin, with six recordings of his songs and print publications. Also opera and history lovers, both have taught at Beacon Hill Seminars and are recipients of the Jack Curtin Award. Sears, a graduate of Ithaca College and editor of The Irving Berlin Reader, wrote a chapter in Adapting the Wizard of Oz: Musical Versions from Baum to MGM and Beyond, and is in the early stages of developing The Fred Astaire Reader. Conner is a graduate of West Virginia University, having also studied at the University of Salzburg (Austria) and the American College of Salzburg. A renaissance individual with degrees in business, musicology, and foreign language, he has lectured and written on his interests in music and world history.