Composed on the cusp of the French Revolution, The Marriage of Figaro transformed expectations of what a comic opera can reveal to its listeners. Instead of archetypes in an upstairs downstairs bedroom farce, an audience could recognise rounded characters.

Professor Nicholas Till, author of Mozart and the Enlightenment, historian Judith Flanders and conductor George Jackson join Anna Picard in conversation about Beaumarchais’s play, Mozart’s opera, Da Ponte’s libretto, an ingenious heroine, and the lasting popularity of master-servant comedies.