In a bit of serendipity, Houston Grand Opera is presenting Mozarts masterpiece The Marriage of Figaro, just around the corner from the Alley Theatres current run of Amadeus, Peter Shaffers rococo-like fantasy on famed composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The opera, which is based on the notorious play by Beaumarchais, was banned in its time by Louis XVI, who called it hateful and unplayable. Louies reaction is understand-able, since the plot features the lower class getting the better of their betters.
The librettist, the famed Da Ponte, boasted of a new kind of spectacle, and Mozart gave it all he had. The result is lush, sweeping music such as the Countesss prayer to love, Porgi, Amor, the saucy chambermaid Susannas serenade Vieni, ben mio and the lovesick Cherubinos advice to both of them, Voi che sapete. Its revolutionary in its setting of class and privilege, but underneath it all, like all great operas, its about the power of love. The stuffy Viennese didnt get it; it took the Czechs of Prague to turn the opera into an international blockbuster, Mozarts only big hit during his lifetime. 7:30 p.m. April 17. Through April 30. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For a full schedule, call 713-228-6737 or visit www.houstongrandopera.org. $47 to $294.
Fri., April 15; Sun., April 17; Sat., April 23; Wed., April 27; Sat., April 30, 2011