Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Figaro on freedom of speech

The programme for Le nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House includes a meaty extract from Beaumarchaias's original: Figaro's controversial speech from the last act. It includes not only the part Da Ponte used, re fickle women, but also several passages which are more than topical at the moment. Such as this:

"The idiocies that appear in print don't mean a jot until someone tries to block them. Without the freedom to criticise, there can be no such thing as praise. Only little men are fearful of little scribblings."
-- Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais

PS - on a totally unrelated matter, I have just come across the blog of composer Alex Shapiro, which has convinced me I live in the wrong place.