Great Moments In Opera, "si A Caso Madama" From Mozart's Opera "figaro"


by Gianni Truviani - Date: 2010-10-01 - Word Count: 608 Share This!

In Mozart's opera "Figaro", it is after Figaro and Susana have sung about the joy of their upcoming wedding that Susana asks Figaro what he is measuring. Figaro, for his part answers that he is seeing if their wedding bed will fit in the room they are in which happens to be right next to the master's bedroom. Susana at this point sees where perhaps having this room for their own might not be such a good idea yet Figaro does not understand why his bride is uneasy about having the best room in the palace. Susana's answer coming in the form that she is Susana and Figaro is crazy to which he replies that he does not wish so much flattery.

This being what prompts Figaro to start singing the aria "Si A Caso Madama" (In case madam) in which he claims that if their madam should call them in the night, they can go serve in two steps being how close their quarters will be to hers as well as their master's. Figaro continues explaining all the benefits of being so close to their master's quarters which should make their jobs easier. This aria coming off beautifully given Mozart's merry melody which includes the sound of the bell which will be used to call them to service, this being what Figaro refers to as "ding, ding" or "dong, dong".

Susana however understands all too well that their master, count Almaviva has given them this spacious room, not at all considering their comfort or even that they might be able to come quicker when called for but so that he might be closer to Susana and get certain moments with her when Figaro is away. Susan claiming that the "dong, dong" Figaro sings off will bring the devil to her door, (dong, dong a la porta il diavolo lo porta) as the music goes up slightly in tempo yet the melody remains most lively and colorful; as Susana tries to persuade Figaro that perhaps their taking that particular bedroom would not be such a good idea. Figaro at first does not wish to lend credence that count Almaviva did not give them that bedroom out of generosity and tries to silence Susana by saying "Susana, fiam fiam" yet she insists that there is danger in her being so close to their master's desire for her. The music then becomes livelier as Susana and Figaro enter in to a slight quarrel in which Susana manages to convince her fiancée that they should be careful.

The music in "Si A Caso Madama" continues the same tempo as set by the previous aria and allows one to get in to the feel of this at times zany buffo opera and all the characters which will emerge. I, in all truth feel that this is part of the genius of Mozart, as he is able to put so many great arias back to back which not only stand out individually but make the opera as a whole sound like one great piece which connects the story beautifully. This in fact being another reason why I hope to attend this opera with Joanna Poplawska, who is also my "Joannuszka Slisznuszka"; so that she might see some of the reasons which have led to my becoming the opera fan I am today.

As an added note, I would like to say that this is an opera I recommend to all those who are just getting interested in the opera. As it offers light music which is refreshing while allowing us to enjoy a great opera by one of the finest composers who ever lived.

Related Tags: mozart, opera, gianni truvianni, joannuszka slisznuszka, joanna poplawska, figaro, si caso madama, susana

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