Post by Singer709 Post by Parterrebox Post by Singer709
Why is Basilio a stutterer (as in Nozze, for example)?
Basilio doesn't stutter in FIGARO; Don Curzio does. And he's a stutterer
because that was at the time of composition a sure-fire comic "bit." Sort of
the way flatulence is now.
Sorry, yes, you're correct, it's Curzio. So this is simply a comic bit
that is common in period opera (and maybe drama)? Makes sense. I was
wondering whether it came into vogue because of some one singer who
made it his sthick, and it caught on.
Yes. The first singer of Don Basilio and Don Curzio, Michael Kelly (aka
Ochelli), who lived to write his memoirs as the last surviving member of the
original cast, claims to have persuaded Mozart and da Ponte that a
stuttering Curzio was sure-fire. It was, so they left it in.
(Kelly also claims never to have heard a Figaro remotely as good as that
first season's run in 1786. These boastful Irishmen.... On the other hand,
would anyone out there have a pirate of it, so we can hear for ourselves?)