In the Wings

Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera

Easter Eggs in The Marriage of Figaro

May 3, 2017 11:57:57 AM
By Morgan McKendry

During the performance did your ears happen to perk up at the sound of something familiar?

Our fortepiano player Brett Hodgdon has taken the lighthearted, jovial, spirit of The Marriage of Figaro and found spaces within the opera, often open for creative license, to weave in some well placed Easter eggs.

Brett Hodgdon says the following:

Récit is one of the most improvisatory parts of comic opera, because you are given only the text, a simple melody, and a bass line/chord progression in the keyboard part. Everything else is improv, based upon the action on stage, the nuances in the text, and the whimsy of the singer and keyboard player. That's why it's one of my favorite things about being a keyboard player in opera. You can plan some things in advance, but récitative only really comes alive in the theater, and every performance is different!”

Join us for Figaro and tweet at us during intermission or after the show with what you’ve found!

Example Tweet: I found a musical easter egg! #FigaroBLO #FigaroBLOEasterEgg
easter eggs.jpg
Brett uses excerpts from The Marriage of Figaro overture and will sometimes quote  a character's music from elsewhere in the opera (especially with Cherubino and Figaro).

Here are a few other Easter Eggs to listen out for:

  • Wagner’s wedding march from Lohengrin "Here comes the bride"

  • Mendelssohn’s wedding march from A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Don Giovanni’s serenade "Deh vieni alla finestra"
  • The Count's aria from Barber of Seville "Ecco ridente in cielo"
  • Italian folk song "Bella ragazza delle bionde treccie"
  • Haydn's Surprise Symphony
  • My Fair Lady “The Rain In Spain”
  • Nokia Ringtone



April 28 – May 7 at John Hancock Hall at the Back Bay Events Center



Topics: BLO, #BLO40, #FigaroBLO, easter eggs

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