ACT I

No. 1: Duet

FIGARO

Three feet...

Six feet...

nine feet...

thirteen...

seventeen feet...

Okay, let’s see...

SUSANNA

Look, I think I’m finally finished,

with this hat I made for me.

FIGARO

Three feet...

SUSANNA

Look at me, my darling Figaro.

FIGARO

Six feet...

SUSANNA

Look at me, my darling Figaro.

FIGARO

Nine feet...

SUSANNA

Look at me...

FIGARO

Thirteen...

SUSANNA

Look at me,

donít you think my hat is fetching?

FIGARO

Seventeen feet...

SUSANNA

Donít you think my hat is fetching?

FIGARO

Looks right to me.

SUSANNA

Look at me, my darling Figaro,

donít you think my hat is fetching?

FIGARO

Ah, but look at the plans I am sketching,

plans I’m making just for you.

SUSANNA

Look, I think I’m finally finished

with this hat I made for me.

FIGARO

Ah, but look at the plans I am making

just for you.

SUSANNA, FIGARO

On the dawning of the morning of our wedding,

And of all the joys we’re bound to find upon it,

Here’s the first of them, this fetching little bonnet,

Which Susanna has made for today.

RECITATIVE

SUSANNA

Tell me, what were you measuring over there,

my little Figaro?

FIGARO

I’m seeing if the bed his lordship’s giving to us,

whether it will look good here in our new chamber.

SUSANNA

You mean this chamber?

FIGARO

Sure thing—another present from our generous patron.

SUSANNA

I’ll return it to you, then.

FIGARO

You have a reason?

SUSANNA

Oh, my reason’s up here.

FIGARO

This reason, why can’t you share it with me?

SUSANNA

’Cause I don’t want to!

Are you my servant or not?

FIGARO

But I don’t get it—I don’t see your objections—

the best room in the palace, big and roomy...

SUSANNA

Because I am Susanna,

and you are loony!

FIGARO

Thank you! Leave off the smartmouth,

and you will see why this is perfect

for our situation.

No. 2: Duet

FIGARO

Some evening, our lady might feel a little hungry,

Ding ding! Ding ding!

Just two hops and you’re there by her side.

And what if his lordship needs me to get the horses?

Dong dong! Dong dong!

In three bounces, I’m ready to ride!

SUSANNA

Imagine, some morning the Count is feeling horny.

Ding ding! Ding ding!

You’re away on some errand or such.

Ding ding! Dong dong!

Dong dong, soon that bastard comes running even faster,

And then with three bounces--

FIGARO

Susanna, hush, hush!

SUSANNA

You listening?

FIGARO

I’m listening.

SUSANNA

I’ll tell you what’s happening,

But calm your suspicions, and donít have a cow.

FIGARO

So tell me what’s happening,

But all my suspicions will bother me now.

RECITATIVE

SUSANNA

All right then, shut up and listen!

FIGARO

Go on, tell me what’s happening.

SUSANNA

Our Signor Count tires of going

hunting for new beauties

in the countryside here,

so he’s thinking of trying

once again here in the castle.

And so is it his Countess—

though you’d think so—

who excites his new passion?

FIGARO

So who is it?

SUSANNA

That would be your Susanna!

FIGARO

Not you?

SUSANNA

Me, and no other. He’s really hoping

that his charming little project

will be helped by our convenient proximity!

FIGARO

Bravo! Please, keep on going.

SUSANNA

His generosity, all his attentions,

are not for you, but your lovable Susanna.

FIGARO

One should beware such charitable manna!

SUSANNA

Wait, though—there’s even better!

Don Basilio, my singing teacher

and part-time pander,

when he gives me my lesson,

sings the Count’s unchanging love song,

every day.

FIGARO

Who, Basilio? Oh, that pervert!

SUSANNA

You really thought the Count donated my dowry

for your devoted service?

FIGARO

Could be I sort of thought so...

SUSANNA

He wants to trade me:

I get my dowry in exchange for a favor,

that the lord of the manor...

FIGARO

What the... those feudal rights

that have long been abolished?

SUSANNA

Perhaps, but change is constant,

and he’ll regain those rights,

starting with me.

FIGARO

Bravo, so be it,

my caring lord and master—

we are at your beck and call—

you may discover...

[The bell rings.]

FIGARO

Who’s ringing? The Countess.

SUSANNA

Addio, addio, Fi- Fi- Figaro dearest!

FIGARO

Have courage, my beloved—

SUSANNA

And stay alert now!

[Susanna exits]

FIGARO

Bravo, my noble patron—

I’m catching on now—

all the mystery lightens—

I see all of the charming details of your little project:

We’re off to London...

you, the minister...

I, the courier...

And my Susanna...

your secret ambassadress?

Not a chance, not a chance—

Figaro has spoken!

No. 3: Cavatina

FIGARO

Dance with me, Count, and you’ll learn a new tango,

Such a fandango you never have known, sir, you’ve never known.

If you’ll go dancing, you’ll learn to trot, sir,

Not a gavotte, sir, one of my own!

Come on! But easy, easy, easy, easy!

But undercover, I might discover what’s going on...

Soon you’ll be dizzy, mad to distraction,

I’ll keep you busy, endless reaction,

All of your plotting by me overthrown.

Dance with me, Count, etc.

[Figaro exits. Marcellina and Bartolo enter.]

RECITATIVE

BARTOLO

You might have told me sooner...

instead of waiting till now—

it’s the day of their wedding!

MARCELLINA

Ah, my dear doctor, I see no real impediment.

More marriages than one

have been canned later than this—

One needs only a good reason,

and I’ve got that here,

with my rock-solid contract...

and certain promises...

that my love...

Basta!

If we harrass Susanna all day

and find a way to cause a disruption

between them and his Lordship—

in order to get vengeance

he will come down on my side,

and Figaro will find himself my husband.

BARTOLO

Excellent!

Give the contract to me—

I will peruse it—

and together we will win this!

(Nothing could give me more pleasure

than to marry my old servant

to the man who cheated me

out of marrying Rosina!)

No. 4: Aria

BARTOLO

Now, I’ve got him! Oh, how I’ve got him!

Wise men know how sweet is vengeance!

Fools without full comprehension

never taste it, and nor they should.

With attention, with invention,

With offenses, and expenses,

I can do it, I’ll beat him senseless!

If I’ve been misunderstood,

Let me make it understood.

Digging through cases for clarification,

I’ll cover our bases for alienation,

With all the red-taping, delib’rate misshaping,

There is no escaping, as if he could!

All of Seviglia knows Doctor Bartolo!

That loser Figaro, goes down for good!

[Bartolo exits. Susanna enters.]

RECITATIVE

MARCELLINA

Nothing can stop me from winning!

My hopes are higher than ever.

Ah, Susanna is coming!

What should I do here?

I’ll pretend I do not see her.

(loudly)

Ah, such a darling thing

he is taking for a wife!

SUSANNA

Talking about me!

MARCELLINA

It just seems to me that my Figaro

could have done better...

but money talks.

SUSANNA

What a demon!

Is she evil, or drunk, or simply stupid?

MARCELLINA

Bravo, here’s justice for you—

her eyes are so modest,

and such pious behavior,

and yet...

SUSANNA

I think I’ll leave!

MARCELLINA

All the men crave her!

(or, I’ll still outbrave her!)

No. 5: Duet

MARCELLINA

Oh look, your new gown,

I’m surprised by its whiteness!

SUSANNA

Indeed, the whole town

would be stunned by your politeness!

MARCELLINA

You first through the doorway...

SUSANNA

No, no, after you!

MARCELLINA

You first through the doorway...

SUSANNA

No, no, after you!

MARCELLINA, SUSANNA

I know how things go,

Oh, and I know what good manners can do!

MARCELLINA

The maiden in waiting!

SUSANNA

Respectable matron!

MARCELLINA

The Count’s precious plaything!

SUSANNA

All Spain could be your patron!

MARCELLINA

Your figure, dear...

SUSANNA

Fashion-plate...

MARCELLINA

Your “work” here...

SUSANNA

Your age!

MARCELLINA

By God, let me slap her now,

I’m blind, I’m blinded by rage!

SUSANNA

You foolish old woman, you’d be laughed off a stage!

MARCELLINA

But really, your gown,

how surprising its whiteness!

SUSANNA

You know the whole town

won’t believe your politeness!

MARCELLINA

The maiden in waiting!

SUSANNA

Respectable matron!

MARCELLINA

The Count’s latest plaything!

SUSANNA

All Spain could be your patron!

MARCELLINA

Your figure, dear...

SUSANNA

Fashion-plate...

MARCELLINA

Your “work” here...

SUSANNA

Your age!

MARCELLINA

By God, let me slap her now,

I’m blind, I’m blinded by rage!

SUSANNA

Your age! Your age! Your age!

You foolish old woman, you’d be laughed off a stage!

MARCELLINA

(I can’t wait to slap her face

I’m blinded by rage

I’m ready to slap her face,

I’m blinded by rage)

[Marcellina exits.]

RECITATIVE

SUSANNA

Go on, you old schoolmarm!

You ill-tempered old pedant!

Just because you’ve read two books

and tutored my mistress in her youth...

CHERUBINO

Susannetta, that you?

SUSANNA

Sure is, what are you doing here?

CHERUBINO

Ah, my heart— what a tragedy!

SUSANNA

Your heart? What has happened?

CHERUBINO

Yesterday morning, the Count found me

alone with Barbarina,

so he’s sending me into exile!

And if my beloved Countess,

the most lovely of women,

doesn’t intercede for me,

I have to leave—

I’ll see you ne’er again, dearest Susanna!

SUSANNA

Never more to see me?

Bravo! So you’ve given up on loving Madame,

without whose tenderness

you would cease from breathing?

CHERUBINO

Ah, the total respect inspired by Madame!

Oh lucky you, you see her whenever you want to,

you who dress her in the morning,

you undress her in the evening,

you pin up her hair,

tie on her lace...

Ah, to do what you do!

(sees ribbon)

What’s that there? Let me see it!

SUSANNA

Oh, just a pretty little ribbon and the night cap...

of your beautiful Madame.

CHERUBINO

Oh, give it me, my sister,

give it for pity’s sake!

(snatches ribbon)

SUSANNA

Hey, give it back!

CHERUBINO

O, dearest, O sweetest,

O most fortunate of ribbons!

I’ll never give thee up,

unless I die first—

SUSANNA

Are you insane or stupid?

CHERUBINO

Please let me keep it!

If you let me keep it,

I will give you this little song I’ve written.

SUSANNA

And what is it about?

CHERUBINO

About my love for Madame,

my undying love for you,

my love for Barbarina, Marcellina,

I’m even in love with the other pages!

SUSANNA

Poor little Cherubino—

you are outrageous!

No. 6: Aria

CHERUBINO

I donít know where I am, what I’m doing,

And it feels like my head is unscrewing,

Every girl and every woman excite me,

Every woman makes my heart hit the floor.

O, my soul and its wayward reflections

Leads me off in unwanted directions.

Sinking in passion, my heart turns and bites me,

My desire grows somehow even more.

Not a moment my head isn’t humming,

I donít know if I’m going or coming,

Every girl and every woman excite me,

Every woman makes my heart hit the floor.

I sing of love when waking,

I sing of love when sleeping,

To water, shadows, mountains,

To flowers, grass, and fountains,

To echoes, air, and breezes,

Until my singing eases

Love I have never known.

And if there’s no one near me,

If no one’s near to hear me,

I do it on my own, alone,

I do it all alone.

RECITATIVE

(The Count is heard approaching.)

CHERUBINO

Geez, I’m done for!

SUSANNA

Oh my God!

It’s the Count, he’s coming in here!

(Cherubino hides in a chair; Susanna covers him with a blanket.)

COUNT

(Enters)

Susanna, you seem upset—

is there anything the matter?

SUSANNA

Signor, I beg your pardon...

but... if someone...

saw you in here...

please leave me alone!

(While neither is looking, Cherubino slips out of the chair to hide behind it.)

COUNT

Just a minute, then I’ll leave you—

listen—

SUSANNA

No, I won’t listen!

COUNT

Just two words, dear:

You know the king has made me

his ambassador to London,

and I’m thinking that Figaro should go with me.

SUSANNA

Signor, I beg you—

COUNT

Speak, oh speak to me, dearest,

and with the right you have assumed over me

for as long as you live, command me!

Demand!

SUSANNA

Leave me alone, Signor!

The right you speak of,

I don’t claim it, nor intend to...

Oh, I’m so unhappy!

COUNT

Ah, no, Susanna,

I want to make you happy!

You know how much I love you —

Basilio has told you everything—

now listen: if you could come to the garden

for a few moments later on this evening—

Ah, what wouldn’t I give for such a meeting!

BASILIO

(Out in the hall)

I think he went in here...

COUNT

Who is that?

SUSANNA

Oh heavens!

COUNT

Quickly! Don’t let him in here!

SUSANNA

I can’t leave you alone here!

BASILIO

With Madama, probably...

I’ll ask Susanna.

COUNT

I’ll hide behind this chair.

(Susanna meets him behind the chair, holding the blanket up. Cherubino slips around to hide in the chair again.)

SUSANNA

You cannot hide there!

COUNT

Quiet!

(He pops up as Susanna covers Cherubino.)

And get rid of that idiot!

SUSANNA

Oh geez! What are you doing?

(Basilio enters.)

BASILIO

Susanna, heav’n be with you—

By any chance have you seen his Lordship?

SUSANNA

And why on earth would I have seen his Lordship?

Just go away!

BASILIO

Just a minute—

Listen, your Figaro is looking for him.

SUSANNA

(Oh, heavens!)

He’s looking for the man who hates him

more than you do.

COUNT

(Let’s see how well he serves me.)

BASILIO

I’ve never heard of any moral law stating

he who loves the wife must therefore hate the husband.

Which means: his Lordship loves you...

SUSANNA

Get out of here, you pander!

Serving other people’s garbage!

I want no part of your slimy moral system,

nor the Count, nor of his love!

BASILIO

Hey, no offense, man!

Different strokes for different folks—

I find it funny you don’t prefer a grown man as a lover—

just like the other women—

someone generous, and full of discretion—

to some young stripling, to a pageboy...

SUSANNA

Who, Cherubino?

BASILIO

Sure, Cherubino—our little cherub d’amore,

who, by the way, was sighted on his way

this very morning to your chamber.

SUSANNA

You’re a liar! That’s malicious gossip!

BASILIO

I’m a liar and a gossip just because I’ve eyes in my head?

That charming song he’s singing—

just between you and me, dear,

you can tell me, I can keep your little secret—

he sings for you? or for the Countess?

SUSANNA

(How did he know about that?)

BASILIO

Apropos, my dear student,

better teach him discretion:

at dinner he’s staring, smitten, at Madama.

He’s so brazen about it

that the Count begins to notice

and in these matters, as we all know,

he is a terror.

SUSANNA

Nasty reptile! How can you invent such

untrue and scandalous rumors?

BASILIO

I? Such injustice!

What I tell, I also hear—

it’s only what they’re all saying—

my story’s solid as granite...

COUNT

So—

What are “they” saying?

BASILIO

Oh, goodness!

SUSANNA

Oh, damn it!

No. 7: Trio

COUNT

What the hell now?

Go and find him, Cherubino, and kick him out.

Go, just go and kick the little bastard out!

BASILIO

Donít you know now, I should go now,

You can find me, oh, hereabout...

SUSANNA

Aggravation, botheration,

Oh, which I can do without!

(Pretends to faint.)

BASILIO & COUNT

Ah, this is too much excitement!

How could she keep from passing out?

COUNT

Maybe we should give her brandy.

SUSANNA

Ah, where am I? Geez, unhand me!

If you donít, I’m going to shout!

BASILIO

Please, my dear, do calm your anger,

Of your virtue, there is no doubt.

COUNT

Please, my dear, do calm your anger,

In your worship, I’m most devout.

BASILIO

Sir, the page boy, that I mentioned...

It was gossip, though well-intentioned.

SUSANNA

You’re insidious, and so perfidious!

Donít believe this lying lout!

COUNT

Out he goes, I donít mean maybe!

SUSANNA & BASILIO

Oh, poor baby!

COUNT

Out he goes, I donít mean maybe!

SUSANNA & BASILIO

Oh, poor baby!

COUNT

Right, poor baby!

That poor baby is a libertine throughout!

SUSANNA & BASILIO

Really? How?

COUNT

Well, yesterday, then,

I go to your cousin’s cottage.

I knock.

Barbarina is there, but seems more sheepish... than usual.

This arouses my suspicions.

I search everywhere, but nothing!

Then as gently ’s I am able,

Lift the cover of her dressing table...

There’s that pageboy!

(Uncovers Cherubino in the chair.)

This is the limit!

SUSANNA

Ah, cruel heavens!

BASILIO

Ah, what an encore!

COUNT

Where’s that virtue now, signora?

SUSANNA

My life worsens by the minute!

COUNT

I’ll just test it, if I may.

SUSANNA

Will I make it through the day?

BASILIO

We are dealing with a woman;

There is nothing more to say.

Sir, this pageboy,

I just mentioned,

It was gossip,

Though well-intentioned.

RECITATIVE

COUNT

Basilio, make tracks and find our dear Figaro this instant.

I want him to see...

SUSANNA

Oh, I think he should! Go get him!

COUNT

Hold on there—what’s your angle?

With all this evidence, what’s the point of denying it?

SUSANNA

Don’t you worry about what I’ll say.

(indicates Cherubino.)

COUNT

How long has he been here?

SUSANNA

He was already with me when you got here.

He came here begging, wanting me to ask the Countess

to ask your forgiveness,

and when you entered, he went into a panic—

so he hid himself beneath the blanket.

COUNT

But I sat there myself as soon as I came in here.

CHERUBINO

Oh, at first I was hiding there behind it.

COUNT

And when I... had reason to be there?

CHERUBINO

I quickly slipped around, hiding in the first place.

COUNT

Great Caesar! This little weasel

heard everything I’ve been saying!

CHERUBINO

I tried my best to be inconspicuous.

COUNT

Good-for-nothing...!

BASILIO

Control yourself—someone’s coming.

COUNT

Well, as for you, don’t move, little delinquent!

No. 8: Chorus

(In comes a hastily assembled chorus of peasants and servants, led by Figaro. They are not even close to competent.)

Come, sing, young maidens,

Scatter your flowers:

Thank this good lord of ours,

Our grand signor.

Kind, thrifty, reverent,

Clean, brave, and cheerful,

Loyal, obedient,

He’s all these things and more,

Helpful and courteous,

All these and more.

Come, sing, young maidens,

Scatter your flowers:

Thank this good lord of ours,

Our grand signor,

Goodness galore,

Our grand signor!

RECITATIVE

COUNT

What’s up with the commedia?

FIGARO

(to Susanna)

How are we doing?

Just back me up here, darling.

SUSANNA

It’s pretty hopeless!

FIGARO

Signor, don’t reject

this declaration of appreciation,

so deserved by your lordship,

since you abolished that lordly right

so detested by all lovers.

COUNT

That “right” was hardly a right—

what’s the commotion?

FIGARO

Here we stand to be symbols

of your liberality and your wisdom.

Our little wedding is prepared to do you justice—

all you have to do is give away this maiden,

who, untouched by lord or man,

will be dressed in gown of purity,

with its emblematic whiteness.

COUNT

(Diabolically clever! But I must play the game!)

It’s gratifying to be so well thought of...

but I really don’t deserve it—

neither praise nor tribute—

those “rights” you speak of have been gone for generations

and I need hardly say were distasteful to me.

ALL

Eviva, eviva, eviva!

SUSANNA

Such virtue.

FIGARO

Such justice.

COUNT

And for your wedding, I’ll give the bride away...

after a brief postponement.

I have to make sure all the arrangements have been readied

for the most magnificent wedding ever.

(Marcellina, get your butt here!)

Till then, dear friends!

No. 8a: Chorus

Come, sing, young maidens,

Scatter your flowers:

Thank this good lord of ours,

Our grand signor.

Kind, thrifty, reverent,

Clean, brave, and cheerful,

Loyal, obedient,

He’s all these things and more,

Helpful and courteous,

All these and more.

Come, sing, young maidens,

Scatter your flowers:

Thank this good lord of ours,

Our grand signor,

Goodness galore,

Our grand signor!

RECITATIVE

FIGARO

Eviva!

SUSANNA

Eviva!

BASILIO

Eviva!

FIGARO

(to Cherubino)

And you are not rejoicing?

SUSANNA

He’s ever so heartbroken

because his lordship’s banished him forever!

FIGARO

On such a happy occasion!

SUSANNA

On the day of our wedding!

FIGARO

Now, when everyone sings your praises!

CHERUBINO

Perdono, O signor!

COUNT

You don’t deserve it.

SUSANNA

He’s just a little boy!

COUNT

Not as much as you think.

CHERUBINO

It’s true, I’m guilty,

but one more chance, I promise...

COUNT

Okay—I will forgive you.

And in fact, I’ll do more.

There is a vacant officer’s post in my regiment,

and you can have it, it’s yours, take it.

And leave now.

SUSANNA, FIGARO

Ah, till tomorrow morning...

COUNT

No, he leaves pronto!

CHERUBINO

I am ready to obey you, my lordship.

COUNT

Go and hug for the last time your beloved Susanna.

(They weren’t expecting this one!)

(The Count and Basilio exit.)

FIGARO

Ehi, capitano! Shake my hand like a man...

(I need to see you before you leave.)

Addio, our little Cherubino!

You’ve just crapped out with snake eyes

in Life’s casino!

No. 9: Aria

FIGARO

Pack your bags, hit the road, go on, leave us!

Say goodbye to the girls and their flirting.

Though I know that your hurting is grievous,

March away anyway without fear!

Say goodbye to the trendiest fashions,

No more pre-adolescent vexations,

no indulging in musical passions,

Say hello to your brilliant career.

You, a soldier, drunk and swearing,

grow a mustache, prove your daring,

You, a captain, practice shooting

with your privates, all saluting.

It's an honor—defend your nation,

but alas, no compensation!

Instead of dancing for enjoyment,

You’ll be marching toward deployment!

All that marching, all that training,

When it’s sunny, when it’s raining,

On you go with your campaigning,

So you fill your time remaining

With your bitching and complaining,

Till you’re silenced ever more!

Cherubino, on to glory,

on to glory of the war!

End of ACT I