In Mozart legend, Kelly was known as the creator of the part of the "stuttering judge" in The Marriage of Figaro, named Don Curzio. Kelly recounted that he and Mozart actually had words over his giving the judge a stutter. Mozart objected, fearing that it took away from the music. However, Kelly won the argument because of the audience's favorable response to the hilarious effect, and so it stayed. Consequently, the part of Don Curzio has always been played with a stutter.
Kelly played a double role in Figaro. In addition to the stuttering Don Curzio, he also played the lecherous music instructor, Don Basilio. The following is a performance of Basilio's rarely performed Act IV aria, "In quegl'anni, in cui val poco".
© K. Lynette Erwin, 2014