Il barbiere di Siviglia

English: The Barber of Seville

At a glance

  • Composer: Gioachino Rossini
  • Librettist: Cesare Sterbini
    • After the play Le Barbier de Séville [The Barber of Seville] by Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais
  • Genre: Opera buffa
  • Language: Italian
  • Premiered: 20 February, 1816

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Synopsis

Originally entitled Almaviva, ossia L’inutile precauzione (Almaviva, or The Useless Precaution), Rossini’s opera deals with the plan by Count Almaviva to woo Rosina and win her hand in marriage, with Figaro the barber. Together, they outwit her greedy guardian, Dr. Bartolo, who has his eye on his ward’s fortune. Almaviva woos Rosina under the guise of a student, Lindoro, exchanging notes with her, and gains entry to Dr Bartolo’s house disguised as a drunken officer, billeted on him, he alleges. The doctor claims exemption and summons the guard, who allow the Count to go when the officer in charge learns his identity, still concealed from Rosina and her guardian. The Count next finds his way into the house as a substitute for the officious music-master Don Basilio, giving Rosina a singing lesson, until Don Basilio appears and has to be bribed to keep silent. After other turns of fortune, Dr Bartolo is thwarted in his intention to marry Rosina, who is reconciled to the real identity of her lover.

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Highlights

“Largo al factotum”

English: “Make way for the factotum”

“Pace e gioia sia con voi”

English: “Peace and happiness be with you”

“La calunnia è un venticello”

English: “Calumny is a little breeze”

(alternate version)

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