The Abduction of Figaro
is a comic opera, described as "A Simply Grand Opera by P. D. Q. Bach
," which is actually the work of composer Peter Schickele
. It is a parody of opera
in general, and the title is a play on two operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
: The Abduction from the Seraglio
and The Marriage of Figaro
Schickele was commissioned to "discover" this opera by the Minnesota Opera, where the piece premiered on April 27 and 28, 1984. The music incorporates diverse influences and musical quotes, from traditional camp songs like "Found a Peanut" to popular songs like "Macho Man" by the Village People.
This was originally only available on videotape, but has since been made available on DVD as well.
- Professor Peter Schickele, conductor of Chorus, Corpse de Ballet, Orchestra of the Minnesota Opera, the Whole Schmeer
- Leroy Lehr, bass (Al Donfonso, Pasha Shaboom, Papa Geno)
- Dana Kruger, mezzo soprano (Susanna Susannadanna, Mama Geno)
- Bruce Edwin Ford, tenor (Pecadillo)
- Marilyn Brustadt, soprano (Donna Donna)
- Lisbeth Lloyd, soprano (Blondie)
- Michael Burt, bass baritone (Donald Giovanni)
- Jack Walsh, almost-a-baritone (Schlepporello)
- Will Roy, basso (Captain Kadd)
- John Ferrante, bargain counter tenor (Opec)
- Michael Montel, Stage Director
- Larry Hayden, Choreographer
- John Lee Beatty, Set Designer
- Gail Bakkom, Costume Designer
- Richard Stead, Wig & Make-up Master
- Ruth Roberts, Lighting Designer
- Kaye S. Lavine, Television Director
- Stephen Schmidt, Television Producer
The theme to Culture On Parade is performed by the London Serpent Trio
Synopsis of Scenes
1. Introductory remarks by Prof. Peter Schickele
2. Opening credits
: A town on the seacoast of Spain or Italy or somewhere
: Figaro's bedroom in the palace of Count Almamater
4. Introduction: "Found a peanut!"
5. Recitative: "Ah, dear husband"
Aria: "Stay with me"
6. Recitative: "Suzanna"
7. Recitative: "Dog!"
Aria: "Perfidy, thy name is Donald"
8. Recitative: "I am distraught"
9. Quartet: "Love is gone"
: A courtyard of the palace
10. Recitative: "Well, here we are"
11. Aria: "Behold, fair maiden"
12. Recitative: "Just a moment"
Duet: "Thy lofty tree"
: Figaro's bedroom
13. Recitative: "And here is my husband"
14. Recitative: "Hold it!"
Aria: "My name is Captain Kadd"
15. Recitative: "Now that you've heard"
16. Sextet: "What a downer!"
: The courtyard
17. Recitative: "Schlepporello"
Aria: "No man"
: At the dock
18. Recitative: "What a strange turn of events"
19. Quintet and chorus: "Ah, though we must part"
20. Act I Finale
21. Introduction to Act II
Act Two: Somewhere in the Turkish Empire
Scene One: At the seashore
22. Duet: "God be praised"
Scene Two: In front of the Pasha's palace
23. Aria: "Fish gotta swim"
24. Chorus: "Hey, make way"
25. Dance of the Seven Pails
26. Recitative: "Your immenseness"
27. Duet, chorus, and dialogue: "Who is the highest"
28. Quartet: "May I introduce"
Scene Three: A courtyard of the palace
29. Dialogue and recitative: "Why?"
Aria and dialogue: "Macho, macho"
30. Cavatina and dialogue: "You can beat me"
31. Act II Finale
Act Three: A tropical forest
33. Trio and dialogue: "A magic forest"
34. Duet and dialogue: "I am a swineherd"
35. Finale (Part I) and dialogue
36. Aria and dialogue: "Why, oh why"
37. Finale (Part II)
38. Curtain calls and closing credits
39. Closing remarks by Prof. Schickele
DVD Bonus Selections
- Excerpts from the "Gross" Concerto for Divers Flutes, S. -2 (P.D.Q. Bach)
- Professor Peter Schickele in conversation with Gordon Hunt