The Marriage of Figaro

(Figaros Hochzeit)

GDR, 1949, 109 min, b&w
In German; no subtitles
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)


Count Almaviva's valet Figaro wants to marry the maid Susanna, but their master insists on his right to the first night. Figaro encounters trouble because of an earlier promise of marriage he made to the housekeeper Marzelline. Meanwhile, the Countess becomes jealous of the Count's attentions to Susanna, and the page Cherubino falls madly in love with the Countess.


In spite of many humerous complications, Figaro is able to save his wedding and even restore several other relationships in the process.


Mozart's well-known work serves as the basis for DEFA's first opera film. 


DEFA's first film opera, which features an outstanding cast of many of Germany's most beautiful voices, was intended to make the classic work accessible to a wide audience. In the process of creating a film adaptation, Mozart's opera was modified in two significant ways: the sung recitatives were replaced with spoken dialogue and the role of the Countess was reduced in order to place more emphasis on the character of Susanna. These changes were necessary both because of the time constraints of film and because they allowed the film's plot to better reflect contemporary socialist ideals.


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