ACT III

Recitative

COUNT

An impossible predicament: anonymous letters,

conspiring chambermaids popping out of closets,

my wife clearly nonplussed,

a man who leaps from windows down to the garden,

then other men claiming to have been the jumper!

I don’t know what to think.

It could quite possibly be one of the servants—

those people sometimes forget what their place is.

But my Contessa? She’s above all suspicion.

She has too much respect for herself,

and for my honor... my honor...

Where the hell have the idiots around me forced it?

(The Countess and Susanna enter at rear, unseen by the Count.)

COUNTESS

Go, have courage—tell him—

that you’ll meet him in the garden.

COUNT

I must know if Cherubino arrived in Seviglia,

so I’ve sent that numbskull Basilio.

SUSANNA

Oh, heavens—and Figaro?

COUNTESS

Don’t tell him what we’re up to.

I promise I will let him know before this evening.

COUNT

Before this evening he’ll be back with the truth.

SUSANNA

Oh mercy, don’t make me!

COUNTESS

No, wait—in your hands resides my future.

(She gives Susanna a purse of money, then leaves.)

COUNT

And Susanna? Who knows, there is the chance

she’s blabbed about our encounter.

Oh, if she’s tattled, he’ll marry that old woman!

SUSANNA

Marcellina!

Signor...

COUNT

What do you want here?

SUSANNA

You look like you are angry...

COUNT

Perhaps you have a point?

SUSANNA

Signor... the poor Contessa is having

one of her migraines,

and she wants you to send her the Bufferin.

COUNT

Here, take it.

SUSANNA

I’ll bring it right back.

COUNT

Oh, no, just keep the bottle all for yourself.

SUSANNA

For me? Servants don’t have time

to get maladies like migraines.

COUNT

Even if... she loses her beloved the day of her wedding?

SUSANNA

By paying Marcellina with the money,

with the dowry that you promised...

COUNT

I promised you a dowry?

SUSANNA

I understood you meant to...

COUNT

Yes, if your understanding dovetailed with my meaning.

SUSANNA

Well, now I’m ready to see your Lordship’s point,

if you want to show me.

No. 16: Duet

COUNT

So cold, you left me freezing—

Why such a cruel response?

So why so cold?

Why such a cruel response?

SUSANNA

Signor, a woman’s teasing’s

hers for whenever she wants.

COUNT

So then tonight, you’ll meet me?

SUSANNA

If that’s your will, I will.

COUNT

This time, you will not cheat me?

SUSANNA

No, I can’t wait until!

COUNT

You’ll meet me?

SUSANNA

Sì!

COUNT

You will not cheat me?

SUSANNA

No!

COUNT

You will not cheat me?

SUSANNA

Can’t wait until!

No, I can’t wait until!

COUNT

My sighing turns into flying,

buoyed by the joy in my heart!

SUSANNA

Forgive me if I’m lying,

to play a lover’s part.

COUNT

So then tonight you’ll meet me?

SUSANNA

If that’s your will, I will.

COUNT

This time you will not cheat me?

SUSANNA

No, I can’t wait until.

COUNT

You’ll meet me?

SUSANNA

Sì!

COUNT

You will not cheat me?

SUSANNA

No!

COUNT

Tonight you’ll meet me?

SUSANNA

No!

COUNT

No??

SUSANNA

Sì!

If that’s your will, I will!

COUNT

You will not cheat me?

SUSANNA

No!

COUNT

Tonight you’ll meet me?

SUSANNA

Sì!

COUNT

And never cheat me?

SUSANNA

Sì!

COUNT

Sì??

SUSANNA

No!

I can’t wait until!

COUNT

My sighing turns into flying,

buoyed by the joy in my heart,

buoyed by my joyful heart!

SUSANNA

Forgive me if I’m lying,

to play a lover’s part,

I play a lover’s part.

Recitative

COUNT

And so why were you such a little tease

with me this morning?

SUSANNA

Because the page was with us.

COUNT

But with Basilio, you would never deal with him.

SUSANNA

Why would we need such a fool as Basilio?

COUNT

So true, so true...

So I have your promise...

if you don’t come, I’ll perish.

But the Contessa, she’s waiting for her Bufferin.

SUSANNA

Oh, that was nothing, I made that up

so I could come to meet you.

COUNT

My dearest!

SUSANNA

Be careful!

COUNT

(And so I’ve got her!

SUSANNA

(That fool—he’s way too easy!

Good thing I’m honest!)

(Figaro enters behind.)

FIGARO

Hey, Susanna, what’s up?

SUSANNA

Quiet! Without a lawyer, we have won our verdict!

FIGARO

What’s the deal here?

(They exit.)

No. 17: Recitative and Aria

COUNT

They have won without a lawyer?

What the hell now?

What kind of fool have I been here?

Perfidy!

I’m going to...

I’m going to punish them... in a way that...

...way that will be so...

Just you wait and see!

But then again, if he pays Marcellina?

How can he? With empty pockets?

Then there’s Antonio:

I know he’s not impresssed enough by Figaro

to give his niece away in matrimony!

I can keep him on my side with no more than a bottle.

It’s all going my way now! I’ll win this battle!

Why should I stand here calmly

and allow my own disgraces,

while he enjoys embraces

I never will attain?

And why should my Susanna

so deeply, truly love him

when I, so far above him,

rouse feelings of disdain,

get nothing but disdain?

Why so?

Well, here’s my wedding present:

a life not worth possessing—

you were not born, you peasant,

to love without my blessing,

to laugh and scorn my misery,

the love I love in vain.

So fate decrees my sentence:

life without hope of loving—

I’ll turn my life to vengeance,

and make my joy your pain!

(The Count exits.)

(Barbarina enters with Cherubino.)

BARBARINA

Come on, come on, pretty pageboy!

We’re going to my cottage and get together

with all the prettiest ladies in the village.

And you will be the cutest girl of all.

CHERUBINO

Ah, if the Count should discover me one more time!

You know he thinks I’ve already left for Seviglia.

BARBARINA

And so what if he finds you?

It’s not as if that would be a big shocker.

Listen—we’ll dress you like one of us as bridesmaids—

then we’ll all go and pick some flowers

to present to our Madama.

Have faith, O Cherubin, in Barbarina!

(They exit.)

(The Countess enters.)

No. 19: Recitative and Aria

COUNTESS

And Susanna’s not here!

I’m so nervous—to know whether he fell for

our dubious proposal.

I can’t believe this, that we’d try such a scheme!

And with a husband who’s so angry and so jealous!

And what of that?

It’s just me in a costume that he thinks is Susanna,

and her in my clothes...

and with night as a cover...

Oh heavens! What madness am I reduced to?

It’s all because of that unfeeling, cruel man!

Look what he’s done to me with all his unheard-of

infidelity, jealousy, disdain—

first he loved me, then abused me, and last betrays me.

Now I have nothing but help from a servant...

How did love go,

moments of sweetness,

times of bright days and cloudless nights?

Now his promises

change from completeness

to his “maybe”s and his “might”s.

How unfair that when my sun changed,

and I walked in cloudy tears,

that my memory was left unchanged

of my lovely summer years.

But, if then my love’s unchanging,

though he’s driven us apart,

I will find a way of rearranging

his ungrateful, cheating heart!

(She exits.)

(Don Curzio enters, followed by Marcellina, Figaro, Bartolo, and the Count.)

Recitative

DON CURZIO

My decision is final:

either pay her or marry her.

Now keep your mouth shut!

MARCELLINA

I can breathe now.

FIGARO

I’m a dead man.

MARCELLINA

At last the man I love will be my husband!

FIGARO

But my lord, I must protest this!

COUNT

A masterful verdict:

either payment or marriage—Bravo, Don Curzio!

DON CURZIO

Why thank you, Excellency.

BARTOLO

What a perfect sentence!

FIGARO

Who says it’s perfect?

BARTOLO

We have at last our vengeance!

FIGARO

I’m not marrying that harpy!

BARTOLO

I’ll bet you are.

DON CURZIO

Either pay her or marry her!

MARCELLINA

I loaned you money because I thought you loved me!

FIGARO

I am a nobleman, and only my parents of course

can give their permission...

COUNT

Ha, these parents, where are they?

FIGARO

You see if you can find them.

I myself have searched for them for a decade!

BARTOLO

You were a foundling bastard?

FIGARO

No, “lost” would be more like it, or better, “stolen.”

COUNT

Yeah, right.

MARCELLINA

What’s that?

BARTOLO

Your proof, then?

DON CURZIO

There is some evidence?

FIGARO

Gold, and some jewelry, and rich, embroidered clothing—

all these were found on my person

at such a young and tender age,

I think anyone can see it clearly:

I was born as a noble,

and further proof is here on my shoulder,

I have a little birthmark.

MARCELLINA

It’s a spatula on your lefthand shoulder!

FIGARO

Hey, who told you that?

MARCELLINA

Oh God... it’s you then!

FIGARO

Of course it’s me then...

DON CURZIO

Who?

COUNT

Who?

BARTOLO

Who?

MARCELLINA

Rafaello!

BARTOLO

And robbers left you where?

FIGARO

Right near a castle.

BARTOLO

Behold your mother!

FIGARO

My nursemaid?

BARTOLO

No—your mother!

DON CURZIO, COUNT

His mother??

FIGARO

What the hell now?

MARCELLINA

And there’s your father!

No. 18: Sextet

MARCELLINA

Come and hug your loving mother,

you’re my child from days of yore.

FIGARO

And to you, my doting father,

I your loving son restore.

BARTOLO

No resistance, for my conscience

I no longer can ignore.

DON CURZIO

He’s his father? She’s his mother?

Wedding’s off, forevermore!

COUNT

Well, confound it, I’m astounded,

I should head on out that door.

MARCELLINA, BARTOLO

Son beloved!

FIGARO

Beloved parents!

(Susanna enters.)

SUSANNA

Just a minute there, your Lordship,

here’s the ransom for his hardship.

It’s a thousand crowns for Figaro,

it’s to set him at liberty.

DON CURZIO, COUNT

I’m not sure that’s a good omen

over there, you look and see.

SUSANNA

Has he made up with that woman?

So much for fidelity!

You’re an asshole!

FIGARO

Such a martyr!

Listen, my precious, listen...

SUSANNA

Listen harder!

(slaps him.)

MARCELLINA, BARTOLO, FIGARO

Aw, how darling, her abusing

looks/feels like true love there to me.

DON CURZIO, COUNT

I’m/He’s so mad my/his brain is fusing,

I’ve/He’s been screwed by destiny.

MARCELLINA

Now donít let this bug you,

it’s not what it looks like,

his mother will hug you,

his mother—that’s me!

SUSANNA

His mother?

BARTOLO

His mother!

SUSANNA

His mother?

COUNT

His mother!

SUSANNA

His mother?

DON CURZIO

His mother!

SUSANNA

His mother?

MARCELLINA

His mother!

SUSANNA

His mother?

MARCELLINA, DON CURZIO, COUNT, BARTOLO

His mother! His mother!

SUSANNA

Your mother?

FIGARO

And this is my father,

even he will agree.

SUSANNA

His father?

BARTOLO

His father!

SUSANNA

His father?

COUNT

His father!

SUSANNA

His father?

DON CURZIO

His father!

SUSANNA

His father?

MARCELLINA

His father!

MARCELLINA, DON CURZIO, COUNT, BARTOLO

His father, his father!

SUSANNA

Your father?

FIGARO

So these are my parents,

we all can agree,

my mother—we all can agree,

my father—we all can agree.

SUSANNA, MARCELLINA, BARTOLO, FIGARO

The joy is returning

to my heart’s true yearning,

I can’t stop this moment

from bursting in me.

DON CURZIO, COUNT

The anger is burning

in my heart’s wild churning,

I can’t stop this moment

from bursting in me.

(The Count and Don Curzio exit.)

Recitative

MARCELLINA

See, my dear friend, before us,

the sweetest fruit of our former indiscretions.

BARTOLO

Why dwell on follies too foolish to remember—

he is my son now, and you are my wife.

We’ll be married whenever you decide.

MARCELLINA

Today—a double ceremony!

Take this—it’s the contract for the money you owed me—

and your dowry.

SUSANNA

(Picks up the purse from the floor.)

Don’t forget this trifle!

BARTOLO

(Tossing him a purse.)

And here’s another!

FIGARO

Bravo! Keep throwing them and I’ll keep catching!

SUSANNA

I’ve got to go and tell them what has happened—

Madama and my uncle!

Who knows why I’m so happy?

FIGARO

I do!

BARTOLO

I do!

MARCELLINA

I do!

SUSANNA, MARCELLINA, BARTOLO, FIGARO

As long as I am happy—

the Count can go to hell!

(They exit.)

(Antonio enters, followed by the Count.)

Recitative

ANTONIO

I am telling you, Signor, that Cherubino

is still inside the castle,

and if you needed proof, then here’s his hat!

COUNT

I don’t see how that’s possible,

since he left for Seviglia hours ago.

ANTONIO

Excuse me, I guess Seviglia is at my house now,

since he dressed as a woman, and look—

he left all his underwear behind.

COUNT

Perfidy!

ANTONIO

Come one, I’ll show you where to find him.

(They exit.)

(The Countess and Susanna enter.)

COUNTESS

I don’t believe it—so how did he take it?

SUSANNA

You could see the anger and his awful frustration!

COUNTESS

Well, then—he’ll fall more easily in our trap.

This evening’s assignation, where did he say he’d meet you?

SUSANNA

In the garden.

COUNTESS

Let’s be more specific.

Write him!

SUSANNA

Me, write him? But Signora!

COUNTESS

Come, take dictation.

I’ll take responsibility.

Start if off with, “My darling...”

No. 20: Duet

SUSANNA

“My darling...”

COUNTESS

“Now all through the night

soft breezes bear...”

SUSANNA

“...night soft breezes bear...”

COUNTESS

“... my sweet scent of love to you...”

SUSANNA

“...my sweet scent of love to you...”

COUNTESS

“...By the gazebo, meet me there...”

SUSANNA

The gazebo?

COUNTESS

“...By the gazebo, meet me there...”

SUSANNA

“...the gazebo...”

COUNTESS

“...For the rest, you will know what to do...”

SUSANNA

Yes, I think he will know what to do.

SUSANNA, COUNTESS

Yes, I am sure he will know what to do.

COUNTESS

He will love this: “My darling...”

etc.

Recitative

SUSANNA

I’ve got it folded.

What should I use to seal it?

COUNTESS

I know, use this straight pin.

You can seal it with that.

No, hold on, write this on the back of the letter:

“Please return this seal to me.”

SUSANNA

A bit more clever than all this business so far.

COUNTESS

Quickly, conceal it—I hear someone approaching.

(Chorus of girls enter; Chrubino disguised among them.)

No. 21: Chorus

CHORUS:

Lovely Madame, see these roses,

gathered on our morning stroll:

just like you their beauty discloses

how true love should be our goal.

It is true that we’re nothing but peasants,

and we’ve little to give you as presents,

but the little that we live with,

we will give with all our soul.

Recitative

BARBARINA

These are, gracious Madama,

just some girls from around here,

and though they’re poor, decided that they wanted

to bring you flowers that they grew in their gardens.

COUNTESS

How lovely! I thank you.

SUSANNA

They are really quite pretty.

COUNTESS

Tell me, dears, who is that one?

She’s as precious as a kitten,

so quiet and so modest!

BARBARINA

That’s just my country cousin—

she just arrived for the wedding this morning.

COUNTESS

I’d like to honor this shy, retiring maiden—

come over here, and give me your flowers.

Look at her blushing! Susanna, what do you think...

she reminds me of someone.

SUSANNA

It’s damned amazing.

(Antonio and the Count enter. Antonio marches straight over to Cherubino and pulls off his wig.)

ANTONIO

Eh, lookee here, sir, see, there’s your stinkin’ officer!

COUNTESS

Oh, heavens!

SUSANNA

(What an asshole!)

COUNT

Well, then, Madama?

COUNTESS

I am, my honored husband,

as amazed and irritated as you yourself are.

COUNT

But this morning...

COUNTESS

This morning... we had planned to dress him

just like you see him here, just like a bridesmaid,

but this is his own doing.

COUNT

So why haven’t you left yet?

CHERUBINO

Signor!

COUNT

I’m going to punish your flagrant disobedience!

BARBARINA

Excellency! Excellency!

You remember, you said, every time you hugged

and kissed me, when we were smooching:

“Barbarina, if you’ll love me,

I will give you anything you ask for”?

COUNT

I said that?

BARBARINA

Yes, sir, so if you give me Cherubino to be my husband,

then I assure you, I’ll love you like my kitten.

COUNTESS

Well, my dear, sounds like a bargain.

ANTONIO

(Brava, my daughter, you’ve learned your lessons,

you can teach the class now.)

COUNT

(I’d love to know what forces...

divine or... mere human are determined to drive me crazy!)

(Figaro enters.)

FIGARO

Signor, if you detain these lovely girls any longer,

then goodbye to feasting and dancing.

COUNT

Hold on, is it safe to dance on such a twisted ankle?

FIGARO

It feels a whole lot better...

Come on, you lovely ladies.

COUNTESS

(to Susanna)

(How on earth will he wriggle out of this one?)

SUSANNA

(It should be quite fascinating.)

COUNT

And weren’t you lucky, those flowerpots were terra cotta!

FIGARO

Oh, yeah, lucky...

Let’s get a move on— Come on now...

ANTONIO

And in the meantime, Cherubino galloped

all the way to Seviglia.

FIGARO

Maybe galloped, maybe trotted, Bon Voyage!

Let’s go, let’s start this party!

COUNT

And his commission, he left behind in your pocket?

FIGARO

Sure, whatever.

(Such repetitious questions!)

ANTONIO

(to Susanna, who has been gesturing to Figaro)

He doesn’t understand you, so you can stop that.

(Drags Cherubino forward.)

And here’s the man who knows that my

nephew-in-law-to-be is a liar!

FIGARO

Cherubino?

ANTONIO

Now you know.

FIGARO

(to the Count)

What are they up to?

COUNT

Well, here’s a clue:

he’s saying that Cherubino jumped onto the geraniums.

FIGARO

You don’t say!

Oh well, once I showed them how,

it was perfectly easy for a copycat to follow.

COUNT

Presposterous!

FIGARO

Eh, whyso?

I never claim to know things I don’t know!

No. 22: Finale

FIGARO

There’s our procession—let’s go now—

get to your places, you bridesmaids to your places...

The bride herself goes in...

SUSANNA

(Takes Figaro’s arm.)

Here we go!

(They exit after the bridesmaids.)

COUNT

God, I hate them!

COUNTESS

My soul is frozen!

COUNT

Contessa...

COUNTESS

Don’t even speak now!

Here come two happy couples

whom we must greet in joy.

(She turns sharply to him.)

Try to remember—

she is still my attendant.

Be seated.

COUNT

Be seated.

(And meditate on vengeance!)

(The wedding party comes in. Bartolo carries some kind of traditional bridal wreath for Susanna; Figaro the same for Marcellina. Bartolo leads Susanna over to the Count. She kneels while the Count places the wreath on her head. She pretends it’s not on straight, and when the Count straightens it, she slips him the note. Figaro brings Marcellina forward for her wreath, etc.)

TWO GIRLS

True Love soars above us

like doves on the wing;

Love’s beauty, Love’s duty,

Oh now let us sing.

This ring you’re possessing,

your love you’re professing,

so here is our blessing

on your wedding.

CHORUS

Three cheers for our couples

and our grand Signor!

Fandango

(General dancing. The Count goes to one side to open his note. He sticks himself with the pin and tosses it aside.)

COUNT

Eh, how typical of women—

a pin where it can stick you—

so muddle-headed...

Ah, ha! Ah, now I get it!

(He begins to look for the pin.)

FIGARO

(He has seen the Count; comments to Susanna.)

Look at that, someone’s given him a note,

probably some assignation...

She sealed it with a pin to pique his interest

and he’s hurt his little finger.

That Narcissus has lost it—what a blind man!

(The dancing ends. The Count toasts.)

COUNT

Now, friends and neighbors,

let’s finish off these weddings

with every kind of wild celebration,

with a big costume party!

And so let’s party our cares away till morning

with dancing, and fireworks,

and a banquet, and more dancing!

You all shall witness how I treat those whom I love,

and those who love me!

CHORUS

True Love soars above us

like doves on the wing;

The wedding’s over,

so let’s have a fling.

It’s no use concealing

the champagne we’re feeling,

so here’s to love, it’s really

an excellent thing!

Three cheers for our couples

and our grand Signor!

End of ACT III