April 24, 1984 | Minnesota Opera
The Abduction of Figaro
Composer:P.D.Q. (Schickele) Bach
Librettist:(Peter Schickele) P.D.Q. Bach
At the palace of Count Alma Mater, Figaro lies in bed, gravely ill, attended by his wife, Susanna Susannadanna; her servant, Pecadillo; and the doctor Al Donfonso. Donna Donna arrives in search of Donald Giovanni. Donald Giovanni and his supposedly mute servant, Schlepporello, arrive in the palace courtyard. Schlepporello complains that his mute role is underwritten: He wants to sing. Donna Donna recognizes Donald and threatens to kill him unless he agrees to marry her. Captain Kadd emerges from one of Donna Donna's steamer trunks and announces that he is hijacking the ship to Cuba. He takes Figaro hostage, along with his bed, and escapes. Al Donfonso, Pecadillo, and Schlepporello are marooned in an unknown land. They encounter Opec, Pasha Shaboom's servant. Donald and Pecadillo are left alone with two harem girls who turn out to be Blondie and Donna Donna. Captain Kadd passes through, pushing Figaro's bed, and asks directions to Cuba. Don and his party go to the rescue in Opec's boat. On an unknown island they discover Papa and Mama Geno. Kadd arrives with Donna Donna, Blondie, and Figaro. Papa Geno gives Kadd a treasure map which leads to the spot where Figaro's bed is located. Figaro has disappeared, but in his place is the Captain's prize, the jewel-filled Maltese Falcon. Pirates and Valkyries sing the Captain's praises. When the bird is opened, however, it is discovered that Schlepporello has stolen the jewels. He negotiates with the opera manager, agreeing to exchange the jewels for the chance to sing and tap dance an aria. (Taken from Recent American Opera, A Production Guide by Rebecca Hodell Kornick)

Title Information

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Approximate Runtime (hh:mm)

Number of Acts

Musical Style
Baroque and Classical phrase structures that are ingeniously parodied; sound effects from bizarre instruments; sudden intrusions of popular music at cadences

Vocal & Musical Forces
Two flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 French horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, 2 percussion, piano (harpsichord), ukelele, pedal steel guitar, electric guitar, strings; 2 sopranos, mezzo-soprano, countertenor, tenor, 4 baritones, bass-baritone; 2 speaking roles; SATB chorus; "corpse" de ballet

Original Cast
Susanna Susannadanna, Dana Krueger; Pecadillo, Bruce Edwin Ford; Donna Donna, Marilyn Brustadt; Blondie, Lisbeth Lloyd; Donald Giovanni, Michael Burt; Schlepporello, Jack Walsh; Captain Kadd, Will Roy; Opec, John Ferrante; Al Donfonso, Pasha Shaboom, and Papa Geno, LeRoy Lehr.

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