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How "The Marriage of Figaro" by Mozart gives an important message to The World today.

Updated on April 12, 2015


The Marriage of Figaro helps make an important point.

Winding up Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro.

First performance of The Marriage of Figaro.

The Marriage of Figaro shows us our Common Humanity.

The Marriage of Figaro connects us all together.

The marriage of Figaro overture. (A special bonus).

The Marriage of Figaro helps make an important point.

The video that I am posting with this short article is a performance of "Non piu andrai farfallone amoroso" from "The Marriage of Figaro" by Mozart. I want you to watch it first, before reading what I have to say, because it is central to the point of what I want to write about.

Winding up Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro.

Old Vienna

First performance of The Marriage of Figaro.

The opera "The Marriage of Figaro" was a comic opera, composed by Mozart almost 250 years ago. It was a musical version of a cult play by the author Beaumarchais, which satirised the relations between master and servant in eighteenth century Europe. As such it was a great hit throughout the continent. Some of the more conservative governments tried to get it banned, because they felt that it would undermine the respect that servants were supposed to feel for their betters. They were right. The play, "The Marriage of Figaro" was one of the minor causes of the discontent that lead on to The French Revolution.

But that is not why I want you to watch the video today. I don’t even want you to marvel at the great music of Mozart, or to critique the performance; or to marvel at how ridiculous it was, that a very obvious girl could be mistakenly thought of as a young man.

In the scene the young girl/boy, Cherubino, has just been told by his/her master that he/she must go off to join the army. Figaro, who is singing the aria, is winding him/her up about the perils and the privations of life in the services.

The point is that "The Marriage of Figaro" was a comic opera, and that this scene is one of it's comic highlights.

People in Vienna laughed at it when it was produced, and people all over the world have been laughing at it ever since.

America and Egypt. Different countries. Different Religions. But they both like opera.

Metropolitan Opera House New York.
Metropolitan Opera House New York.
Opera House Cairo, Egypt.
Opera House Cairo, Egypt.

The Marriage of Figaro shows us our Common Humanity.

When we first think about it, there seems to be little that we in our modern world of computers and air travel have in common with the inhabitants of eighteenth century Vienna. They probably went around on horseback, if they could afford a horse. If not they walked everywhere. They certainly did not have computers or televisions in their houses, and if they needed to journey from Vienna to Prague, they had to endure days bumping along a muddy road in a stagecoach. They did not have airplanes or high speed trains in those days.

In simple terms, the people, who saw the first performance of Mozart’s comic masterpiece, were so far removed, in their day to day lives, from us as to be almost living on a different planet.

But there is a connection between us and them. They laughed at this scene. They thought it funny. We can laugh at it today, and we can find it funny as well. This is what gives us the essential connection with those far off people in Old Vienna. It is called our common humanity.

In the world in which we all live today, there is a lot of misunderstanding between the people who live in it. The hatred and the suspicions that exist between different groups and nations lead on to wars, and to some people planting bombs in other people’s cities, while those people send airplanes to bomb the people who they say are blowing them up.

There seems to be a great lack of empathy between the various national and religious groupings that make up the inhabitants of our not very big planet.

Some Americans hate all Muslims, and think them all terrorists, while some Muslims believe that all Americans are part of "The Great Satan" and should be treated accordingly.

In the country where I was reared,(Ireland) there are two tribes of people,(Protestants and Catholics) who until very recently were imbued with such hatred of each other, that it was dangerous to stray into the wrong street.

All over the world, there are people, who through ignorance, or a lack of empathy for those who they perceive as different, nourish and perpetuate old hatreds and enmities as if they were much loved children.

The Marriage of Figaro connects us all together.

It doesn’t need to be like this. The reason why I am writing this today, and why I feel it is important that the message I am trying to convey is understood is precisely this.

Hopefully a lot of readers will see these words, and hopefully they will come from a wide range of nations, religions and backgrounds.

If you do watch the video, and if you do find it entertaining, remember that, because of the internet, others will be watching it as well, and sharing your reactions.

You may be an American, or a German, or a Jew, or Irish, or Russian.

You might be a Muslim, or a Christian, a Hindu or an Atheist.

You may be a homosexual, a fundamentalist who hates homosexuals, or a homosexual who hates fundamentalists.

You may be any of the above, or none of them.

But, what you need to remember is that, if you enjoyed the little video, a lot of those who you fear or are suspicious of, or that you hate or condemn, enjoyed it as well.

That is what is called common humanity. It is what connects us with each other, whatever our differences, just as it connects us all with those who first enjoyed "The Marriage of Figaro" all those years ago in Old Vienna.

Possibly the weirdest book ever. Readers love it though


The marriage of Figaro overture.(A special bonus).

I am including this brilliant performance of the "Figaro" overture to help complete the connection to the eighteenth century audiences. It is played on period instruments and is a real treat for music lovers.



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    • christopheranton profile imageAUTHOR

      Christopher Antony Meade 

      4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      I agree AudreyHowitt. The music is exquisite. Thanks for commenting.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      4 years ago from California

      Must stay--this is still one of my favorite operas!

    • christopheranton profile imageAUTHOR

      Christopher Antony Meade 

      7 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      Hi Nell.

      You completely got the point of what I was saying. It didn't have to be an opera I used. It could be anything that is universally popular, like a cave painting, or "The Great Pyramid". But something funny works best, as we all laugh.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, very clever article, I must admit when you said to watch the video I thought, oh no! lol but believe it or not I got completely into it! In fact I actually liked it! then I read the rest of your hub and realised that it wasn't about the video as such, I totally see what you mean, there are so many things that make us and the rest of the world different, but underneath there is a connection, if only we could all come together like that in everyday life, what a great world it would be, brilliant! rated up! cheers nell

    • christopheranton profile imageAUTHOR

      Christopher Antony Meade 

      7 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom


      Each to his own. Thanks for reading.

      The point of the article wasn't really the opera however.

    • carpanthguru profile image


      7 years ago from Warwick, Rhode Island

      This is well written. It is not a topic I am familiar with, nor is it going to become a passion anytime soon. I mean no disrespect, its just not my cup of tea. You obviously have a great understanding of this material and it shows in your writing.


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