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Madeleine Pierard, José Fardilha, Ferruccio Furlanetto, member of the Royal Opera House Chorus, Vito Priante, Javier Camarena and Daniela Mack in Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Royal Opera © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Mark Douet

Ferruccio Furlanetto as Don Basilio, José Fardilha as Don Bartolo, Madeleine Pierard as Berta, Javier Camarena as Count Almaviva, Vito Priante as Figaro and Daniela Mack as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Royal Opera © 2016 ROH. Photo by

Vito Priante as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Royal Opera © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Mark Douet

Javier Camarena as Count Almaviva and Gyula Nagy as Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Royal Opera © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Mark Douet

José Fardilha as Don Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Royal Opera © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Mark Douet

José Fardilha as Don Bartolo and Daniela Mack as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Royal Opera © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Mark Douet

José Fardilha as Don Bartolo and Ferruccio Furlanetto as Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Royal Opera © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Mark Douet

Vito Priante as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Royal Opera © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Mark Douet

Ferruccio Furlanetto, José Fardilha, Daniela Mack, Madeleine Pierard, Javier Camarena, Vito Priante and the Royal Opera House Chorus in Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Royal Opera © 2016 ROH. Photo by Mark Douet

Vito Priante as Figaro and Javier Camarena as Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Royal Opera © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Mark Douet

Il barbiere di Siviglia

The Royal Opera

Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s production of Rossini’s joyful opera The Barber of Seville sparkles with wit and energy.

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of Il barbiere di Siviglia. It was last on stage 13 September—11 October 2016 as part of the Autumn 2016/17 season.

The Story

Count Almaviva arrives in Seville to search for the mysterious woman he met in Madrid. When he learns that she is Rosina, due to be married to her tyrannical guardian Bartolo, he enlists the help of the cunning barber Figaro to win her hand.

Read more… (Contains spoilers)

Background

The 23-year-old Gioachino Rossini completed his masterpiece Il barbiere di Siviglia with incredible speed – legend has it in just 13 days – which Rossini attributed to ‘facility and lots of instinct’. He adapted Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais’ play Le Barbier de Séville, part of a dramatic trilogy that also inspired Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Within a few decades of its 1816 premiere, Il barbiere di Siviglia had been seen around the world, reaching opera houses in New York, Buenos Aires, Trinidad and Ecuador. The opera is characterized by youthful energy and bold wit: these qualities are brought to the fore in Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s colourful and inventive production, a popular favourite at the Royal Opera House since its premiere in 2005.

Il barbiere di Siviglia has all the right ingredients for comic chaos: an imprisoned young woman, her lecherous guardian and a young noble suitor. Skilfully plotting behind the scenes is Figaro – an irrepressible and inventive character in whom many have seen a resemblance to the young Rossini himself. The score fizzes with musical brilliance, from Figaro’s famous entrance aria ‘Largo al factotum’ to the frenzy of the Act I finale, when the five principal voices all pile on top of each other.

News and features

  1. Who was the Barber of Seville?

    27 September 2016

    Far from a random choice, why making Figaro a barber gives the hero of Mozart and Rossini's operas a controversial, revolutionary spin.

On Wikipedia

The Barber of Seville, or The Futile Precaution (Italian: Il barbiere di Siviglia, ossia L'inutile precauzione [il barˈbjɛːre di siˈviʎʎa osˈsiːa l iˈnuːtile prekautˈtsjoːne]) is an opera buffa in two acts by Gioachino Rossini with an Italian libretto by Cesare Sterbini. The libretto was based on Pierre Beaumarchais's French comedy Le Barbier de Séville (1775). The première of Rossini's opera (under the title Almaviva, o sia L'inutile precauzione) took place on 20 February 1816 at the Teatro Argentina, Rome. Rossini's Barber has proven to be one of the greatest masterpieces of comedy within music, and has been described as the opera buffa of all "opere buffe". Even after two hundred years, it remains a popular work.

Abstract taken from the Wikipedia article The Barber of Seville, available under a Creative Commons license.