Mozart and da Ponte's very first collaboration resulted in a masterpiece -- Le nozze di Figaro -- that represents a highlight in the entire history of opera. In his stage play on which the opera is based, Beaumarchais broached the topic of the class struggle between the Count and his servant on the eve of the French Revolution. However, only the brilliance with which Mozart captured the character of each and every figure made the work a classic: 'Each one changes, is changed, ground, threshed, torn apart and sewn back together again, until he finally stands before himself as himself and, astonished and rejoicing, finds himself again as a completely new person,' says Sven-Eric Bechtolf, who has set his production in the 1930s, thus bringing the plot closer to our own time.

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