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Cherubino's LeapIn Search of the Enlightenment Moment$
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Richard Kramer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226377896

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226384085.001.0001

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Cherubino’s Leap

Cherubino’s Leap

(p.162) 8 Cherubino’s Leap
Cherubino's Leap

Richard Kramer

University of Chicago Press

This chapter considers the character Cherubino from Mozart's opera Le nozze di Figaro. A participant in what might be called a contrapuntal subplot, at once extraneous and yet essential to the ligaments of the drama, the ubiquitous Cherubino implicates himself in the action at every turn. There is something elusive, if not inscrutable, about this Cherubino. His sexuality, which seems the essence of his character, is veiled in ambivalence. An unwitting catalyst in his social interactions, there is also in Cherubino a touch of the divine, suggesting rather a timeless, mythic Eros, a Cupid (even a Peter Pan), than a partner in some reasoned conversation.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, operas, Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro, The Marriage of Figaro

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