First-Time Perfection: Mozart's 'The Marriage of Figaro'


By Lisa Simone


Easily the opera's most poignant character, the Countess (soprano Malin Byström) doesn't make her first appearance until Act Two. Well aware of her husband's deceits infidelities, she opens the act with the aria "Porgi amor," a gently soaring aria, appealing to love as a salve for yearning and heartache. 


THE B SIDE: "The Letter Duet"

Also in the third act, as the Countess contemplates her marital predicament, she's joined by Susanna (soprano Nataliya Kovalova). Together, they compose a letter to the Count, inviting him to a late night assignation in the garden. Their duet is brief but the letter may have life-changing consequences, and Mozart made it one of the opera's most exquisite moments.