Le Nozze di Figaro

The Metropolitan Opera on Tuesday, December 8.

I believe Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) is commonly considered the most accessible of Mozart’s operas. Because it’s technically not opera but singspiel, its between-aria dialogue is not sung but spoken. Ingmar Bergman adapted it for screen, and the Metropolitan Opera has been putting it on every December for the past few years in a bid to make it a tradition in holiday family entertainment. But for me, the utter insanity (and misogyny) of Flute sets it well below another beloved Mozart opera, Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), which, to my ears and eyes, is far more accessible and charming and beautiful than Flute can ever be. True, Figaro is all about sex and infidelity, so it’s not a great candidate for holiday family entertainment, but for an adult audience, Figaro is dazzling.