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The 76th Season of Concerts 2017–2018
New York Opera Society
The Three Lives of Rosina Almaviva

November 26 at 3:30
West Building, West Garden Court

A staged reading of works by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, Gioachino Rossini, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Raquel Barbieri Vidal, Aksel-Otto Bull, and Gisle Kverndokk

The 2012 discovery of a drawing by Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806) depicting his so-called fantasy figures is the inspiration for a revelatory exhibition of the corresponding paintings—rapidly executed, brightly colored portraits of lavishly costumed individuals, including the Gallery's Young Girl Reading (c. 1769). Fragonard: The Fantasy Figures, on view from October 8 through December 3, 2017, examines the 18th-century Parisian world of new money, unexpected social alliances, and extravagant fashions from which these paintings emerged. Following a lecture on November 26, in which Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell explores the profound effects that Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais’s Figaro trilogy had on French fashion, the New York Opera Society performs scenes from the trilogy, which have all been made into operas. Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, and new settings of La mere coupable by Gisle Kverndokk and Aksel-Otto Bull are included in this showcase highlighting the central character Rosina Almaviva. Among his many occupations, Beaumarchais spied for Louis XV in Spain, and his Figaro trilogy drew upon his knowledge of Spanish culture, custom, and costume. The plays—and the operas they inspired—popularized fashionable interpretations of traditional Spanish dress, prolonging the vogue for fantasy portraits à l’espagnole in France.

Celebrating Fragonard: The Fantasy Figures

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