The barber of Seville
- World premiere
- Teatro Argentina din Roma, 20 februarie 1816
- Romanian Opera Craiova Premiere
- 11 octombrie 2012
- Time Length
- 2h, 30’ – o pauză
- Extra info
- Spectacol în limba italiană cu supratitrare în limba română
Opera buffa in three acts by Gioachino Rossini.
Libretto by Cesare Sterbini, based on the homonymous play by Pierre Augustin Beaumarchais.
The action takes place in Seville, in the 18th century.
Protected by the darkness, Count Almaviva, accompanied by several musicians, sings a serenade beneath the window of a house. No one answers. Disappointed, the count pays off the musicians, who depart in disorder. The sun rises and the gay barber Figaro, who also is a druggist, a musician and a poet, and who is loved by the whole town (cavatina). Asking for help, Almaviva tells him when and where he fell in love with the beautiful Rosina, but he cannot reach her because she is rigidly supervised by an old guardian. The door of the balcony opens and Rosina manages to send the count a note. Worried by the girl’s behaviour, the guardian, Dr Bartolo, goes to Basilio, the music teacher he employed to prepare his wedding to Rosina. Encouraged by Figaro and accompanied by the latter’s guitar, Almaviva sings another serenade to Rosina, telling her that his name is “Lindoro”, that he is passionately in love with her and that he wants to marry her. In order to facilitate the date of the two young people, Figaro draws up a sly plan. The count will dress as a military, will pretend to be drunk and will show up at Bartolo’s door with an order to be billeted with him.
Inside the house, Rosina is waiting for Figaro, wanting him to help her send another note to the man who introduced himself as Lindoro (aria). Figaro appears, but he has to hide, hearing the doctor’s voice, who is coming back along with Don Basilio. The latter informs the old man that Almaviva is in town. Don Basilio tries to make Bartolo use the art of calumny against the unwanted guest (aria). Seizing the favourable moment, Figaro ensures Rosina of the sincerity of Lindoro’s feelings (duet). Seeing that his desk has been tampered with, that a sheet of paper is missing and that everything is stained with ink – Rosina’s finger as well – Bartolo is irritated that the young girl has written a note without him being aware of it. Furious, he threatens to increase even more the supervision and isolation of his pupil (aria).
Someone is knocking at the door. The maid Bertha opens, and an angry officer enters the house, who is staggering and strongly smells of alcohol. He asks the doctor to provide him shelter. Bartolo tries to kick him out, a quarrel begins, and the agitation catches the attention of the guards. Revealing his true identity to the guarding officer, count Almaviva, the “intoxicated soldier” who caused all the scandal, is left free, to the dismay of those present (quintet and finale).
Count Almaviva makes a new attempt at entering Dr Bartolo’s house in order to talk to Rosina. This time, he is disguised as a music tutor, a pupil of Don Basilio, who is supposedly ill, “sent” to teach Rosina’s lesson (duet). Intrigued and suspicious, Bartolo assists at the lesson (Rosina’s aria). Figaro arrives, saving the situation. The things complicate with the appearance of Don Basilio. He is quickly silenced after he receives a full purse of money (quintet). While Figaro is shaving Bartolo, Almaviva finally has the opportunity to exchange some words with Rosina, who shares his love with all her heart and agrees to be his wife. Realizing he has been lied to, Bartolo kicks the two intruders out, deciding to call the notary for his marriage to Rosina on that very night. Bertha, the governess, is very unhappy with the intentions of her old master (aria). Using a letter that the count himself had given to Bartolo, the doctor manages to convince Rosina that the barber and the supposed “Lindoro” want to trick her into marrying a certain count Almaviva. Disappointed and miserable, the young girl reveals to her tutor that she is ready to leave through the balcony door on that very night. Scared, Bartolo rushes to ask help from the guards. It is already dark and a storm begins. According to the plan, Almaviva and Figaro enter the house at midnight, using a ladder leaning against the balcony. Rosina is waiting for them full of reproaches. She is overwhelmed with surprise and joy as she discovers, under the overcoat of “Lindoro”, the count Almaviva who kneels to offer her his love, fortune and name (trio). According to the understanding with Bartolo, Basilio arrives accompanied by the notary. Suborned with a gold ring, he agrees to witness the count’s marriage with Rosina. Bartolo, who arrives too late, has no other choice than consoling himself with the thought that Almaviva gave up Rosina’s dowry.
*Grigore Constantinescu & Daniela Caraman-Fotea, Ghid de operă, Bucharest, 1971
**Ana Buga & Cristina Maria Sârbu, 4 secole de teatru muzical, Bucharest, 1999
***Ioana Ștefănescu, O istorie a muzicii universale, Vol. IV, Bucharest, 2002