The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Watch Mozart's Overture to The Marriage of Figaro Performed Using Only Handbells

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The Marriage of Figaro premiered on May 1, 1786 at the Burgtheater in Vienna, Austria. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who composed the opera, also conducted the first two performances while seated at the keyboard. Another famed composed Johannes Brahms said, “In my opinion, each number inFigaro is a miracle; it is totally beyond me how anyone could create anything so perfect; nothing like it was ever done again, not even by Beethoven."

Pianistsacoustic and electric guitarists and cello quartets have performed the Overture. It has also been referenced in films and television and was heard in the 1971 film Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,where it was wrongly identified as a Sergei Rachmaninoff piece by one of the children's parents. 

The Marriage of Figaro was originally scored for two flutes, two clarinets, two oboes, two horns, two bassoons, two trumpets, strings and timpani. In the video above the Overture is performed by Bells on Temple Square.