THIS YEAR is Mozart year, and marks the composer's 250th birth anniversary. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's music is synonymous with magic, transformation and enrichment. Many classical music lovers and scholars claim that he is the greatest composer of all time. And in recent times Mozart has even been recommended by medical experts as being good for the intellectual development of children and unborn babies. Mozart is also considered the most accessible of composers. His music is revered by the serious music lover and loved by the layman. The great Russian composer Tchaikovsky once wrote to his patroness: 'How can you not love Mozart?' The happiness his music generates in audiences must surely stem from the joy its creation gave the composer. 'I am never happier than when I have something to compose, for that, after all, is my sole delight and passion,' Mozart wrote to his father, Leopold. Also remarkable is a vast legacy of music that belies the short time Mozart lived, just 35 years (1756-1791). Part of this legacy is an output of 22 operas, one of the most universally appealing being Le Nozze di Figaro ('The Marriage of Figaro'). Described as a layperson's opera with a seductive storyline, the work is a human comedy filled with laughter and tears. Together with Lorenzo da Ponte, his librettist and collaborator, Mozart turned Pierre Beaumarchais' political drama La Folle Journee into a story full of love and humanity. The plot is gripping and highly entertaining, moving across countless subplots before arriving at an eventual moral reckoning. In between come dramatic situations such as mistaken identity, games of hide-and-seek and secret assignations. The opera is filled with glorious arias and vocal ensembles, and a colourful cast of characters that includes a feudal aristocrat, his wife, their servants and their sweethearts. The antics close with everyone involved singing the praises of love. Le Nozze di Figaro was composed during the Enlightenment, a period when people were beginning to find reason and science more appealing than allegiance to blind faith and superstition. The opera can also be read as the story of one-upmanship by servant over master in a noble household - a case of a little man overcoming a tyrant. Le Nozze di Figaro is presented by Opera Hong Kong and the Leisure & Cultural Services Department. Maurizio di Mattia, resident stage director of Opera Hong Kong, will be leading an international and local cast, including the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and the Opera Hong Kong Chorus. The opera will be performed in Italian, with Chinese and English surtitles. September 20 to 23, Grand Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui.