One of the greatest librettists in opera history, Lorenzo da Ponte had what you might call a colorful career. Born Jewish in Venice, he converted to Catholicism and became a priest in order to study literature and write poetry. Despite his holy orders, his sexual appetites tended to run toward other men’s wives. This and his inability to handle money got him chased out of a series of cities, including Vienna, where he wrote the words for three of Mozart’s masterpieces. He washed up in America, running a grocery store in New York City before becoming Columbia University’s first-ever professor of Italian literature.
UNT puts on Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), a musical setting of Pierre de Beaumarchais’ subversive play pitting wily servants against a count with a troubled marriage who can’t seem to keep it in his pants. The opera offers a bountiful harvest of glorious arias and set pieces to go with its slamming-doors bedroom farce. It may be the greatest comic opera ever written. If you buy the deluxe ticket package, you’ll get dessert and wine along with your opera.
Le nozze di Figaro runs Fri thru Nov 13 at UNT, Murchison Performing Arts Center, 2100 I35E Frontage Rd, Denton. Tickets are $15-35. Call 940-369-7802.