Opera in four acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
In count Almaviva’s castle, near Seville, Figaro, the count’s valet, measures the room in which he is supposed to live after his wedding to his fiancée, Susanna. Susanna reveals to her fiancé the hidden amorous intentions of their master, who relentlessly pursuits her. Figaro decides to keep him away from his beloved.
Doctor Bartolo and Marcellina, who have just arrived from Seville, come to ask Figaro to give them back the money Marcellina lent him or he must marry her.
Cherubino, an adolescent who is constantly in love, sees Susanna and decides to seize the moment, but the unexpected arrival of Count Almaviva makes him hide. From his hiding place, he can hear the Count’s futile appeals to get a date from Susanna. The appearance of Don Basilio forces the Count to hide as well, while Cherubino is protected by Susanna.
Don Basilio advices Susanna to accept the Count and tells her about the love of Cherubino for the Countess, which drags Almaviva out of his hiding place. He finds the page and threatens him with expulsion.
Figaro’s entrance postpones the Count’s vegeance for a while. Figaro wants to obtain his approval for the marriage. The Count postpones the answer, then adresses Cherubino and, in order to avoid scandal, he enlists him as an officer in his regiment, ordering him to leave to Seville as soon as possible.
Alone in her room, the Countess laments over her husband’s indifference. In order to increase her pain, Susanna comes and tells her about the Count’s attempts to seduce her. Figaro reveals his plan of forcing him to consent to his marriage to Susanna. In order to do so, he distracts the Count with an anonymous letter, delivered by Basilio, indicating that the Countess will be having an illicit rendezvous that evening, while Susanna announces the Count that she will be waiting for him in the garden. Cherubino arrives, disguised as Susanna, preparing for his date with the Count. However, the Count’s entrance makes him run into the next room.
Despite the Countess’s refusal, Count Almaviva manages to get into the room where Cherubino was hiding, only to find Susanna, who had meanwhile switched places with the page, allowing Cherubino to escape out the window. The women convince the Count that they only intended to make a joke to cure him of jealousy and he apologizes.
Figaro arrives with the gardener Antonio, who complains that somebody broke one of his flowerpots, suspecting Cherubino, whom he saw jumping out the window. Figaro claims that it was himself who jumped, but the gardener brings forth Cherubino’s appointment to the army, that he had dropped in his run. Marcellina, Bartolo and Basilio enter, looking for Figaro in order to demand him to honour his contract: he must pay them their money or marry Marcellina. The Count intervenes and announces he will investigate the charge.
The Count is agitated as he reflects on what happened and hopes that he can force Figaro to marry Marcellina. The Countess and Susanna are preparing themselves for the nocturnal meeting in the garden, where the Countess will play Susanna’s role. Susanna and the Count encounter, and she informs him that they will meet in the garden that night.
Figaro enters and Susanna whispers to him that the trial with Marcellina is as good as won. But the Count hears these words and, realizing that he is being set-up, he decides to take revenge and prevent the valet’s marriage to Susanna.
Don Basilio announces Figaro the Count’s decision: he must pay the money to Marcellina or marry her. Figaro argues that he cannot get married without his parents’ permission. As he is trying to tell everybody how he has been stolen when he was a baby, the discussion reveals that Figaro is the long-lost illegitimate son of Bartolo and Marcellina (!). Thus, Figaro is saved and now a double wedding is planned: Bartolo to Marcellina and Figaro to Susanna.
The Countess dictates to Susanna a letter for the Count, indicating the meeting place. They close the letter with a pin that would be sent back to Susanna as a sign that the Count accepts the invitation. Barbarina, the daughter of Antonio, approaches, as well as Cherubino, disguised as a woman. Antonio recognizes the page and the Count threatens him with severe punishment. Barbarina’s intervention saves Cherubino.
Sounds of a March and the entrance of the two couples (Bartolo – Marcellina and Figaro – Susanna) announces the beginning of the wedding ceremony. During the dance that follows, Susanna slips the letter to the Count.
Barbarina lost the pin that served as confirmation of the Count’s meeting with Susanna. She meets Figaro and his mother, Marcellina, and tells them everything and so Figaro’s suspicions about Susanna’s infidelity appear to be founded. He walks away enraged to catch her with her alleged lover.
Figaro is hiding, waiting. Marcellina, accompanied by the Countess and Susanna, who have changed dresses, arrive.
Cherubino shows up in the garden and, seeing the Countess dressed like Susanna, mistakes her and wants to kiss her. During his meeting with the woman whom he takes as Susanna, the Count confesses his love actually to his wife. Their scene is disturbed by Figaro’s arrival, who, intending to take revenge upon the Count, confesses his love to Susanna, whom he took as the Countess. Susanna slaps him, but Figaro calms her, by telling that he had recognized her from the beginning and that he only wanted to arouse the Count’s jealousy.
Returning to look for Susanna, the Count catches Figaro and his supposed wife. In the torchlight, all is clarified and the Count asks everyone to forgive him.