Le nozze di Figaro is one of Mozart's best-loved and most enduring works. The first of the three operas he wrote with Lorenzo da Ponte and based on Beaumarchais's play, it established the thirty-year-old Mozart as an opera composer of the very first rank. Its combination of wit, acute psychological observation and sublime music has enthralled audiences ever since its premiere in Prague in 1786.This guide contains articles about the historical background to the opera, as well as musical and dramatic commentaries. Further articles deal with the changes in musical performance brought about in recent times by the period practice movement and with the particular uses Mozart makes of recitatives. There is also a survey of the opera's most important productions. Illustrations, a thematic guide, the full libretto with English translation and reference sections are also included.