Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville)
Conductor: Francesco Quattrocchi
Music by Gioachino Rossini
(Almaviva, or The Futile Precaution)
Opera buffa in two acts
libretto by Cesare Sterbini
based on the homonymous French comedy by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais
Director Giulio Ciabatti
Set designer Aurelio Barbato
A new production by Fondazione Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste
Characters & performers
|Il Conte d'Almaviva||Giorgio Misseri (10, 12, 14, 18/II)|
|Vassilis Kavayas (11, 16/II)|
|Bartolo, dottore in medicina, tutore di Rosina||Domenico Balzani (10, 12, 14, 18/II)|
|Fabio Previati (11, 16/II)|
|Rosina, pupilla di Bartolo||Aya Wakizono (10, 12/II)|
|Cecilia Molinari (11, 14, 16, 18/II)|
|Figaro, barbiere tuttofare||Mario Cassi (10, 12, 16, 18/II)|
|Vincenzo Nizzardo (11, 14/II)|
|Basilio, maestro di musica di Rosina||Giorgio Giuseppini (10, 12, 18/II)|
|Gianluca Breda (11, 14, 16/II)|
|Berta, vecchia governante in casa di Bartolo||Maria Cioppi|
|Fiorello, servitore di Almaviva||Giuliano Pelizon|
|Un ufficiale||Hektor Leka|
|Un Ufficiale; un Alcalde, o Magistrato; un Notaio; Alguazils,|
|o siano Agenti di polizia; Soldati; Suonatori di strumenti.|
|La scena si rappresenta in Siviglia.|
RUNNING TIME: ABOUT 3 HOURS
Act one: about 1 h and 30 min
Break: about 20 min
Act two: about 1 h
A square in Seville at dawn.
Count Almaviva, who has fallen in love with the beautiful Rosina, Don Bartolo’s pupil, cautiously enters the scene preceded by his servant Fiorello and a group of musicians to sing an ardent serenade. He hopes to receive at least a nod of liking from the girl, but there’s no way. The Count, disconsolate, pays the musicians, sends Fiorello away and decides to wait for the girl’s awakening under the window. At the sound of a voice, the Count goes into hiding. Figaro enters happily singing. The count recognizes in the newcomer the smart barber, helpful and clever town darling. Called to solve any plot, Figaro is happy to have such a various and profitable job. The Count recognizes him and succeeds in convincing Figaro to help him win Rosina. Here comes Don Bartolo: he has left the house to arrange his own marriage with Rosina before the day is over. As the tutor leaves, Almaviva insists with Figaro to immediately avert the danger. Figaro convinces Almaviva to sing a second serenade but calling himself “Lindoro”. This time the girl answers. Cheering for the unexpected success, he approves Figaro’s plot: they decide to introduce the Count into Bartolo’s household disguised as a soldier in need of lodgings. To appear less dangerous, he will pretend to be slightly drunk. Having agreed so, the two friends promise to see each other at Figaro’s shop: one full of joy for the love promise, the other overjoyed with the expectation of good earnings.
The courtyard of Don Bartolo’s house.
Rosina admits to herself that she has been moved by Lindoro’s passionate serenade and decides to marry her suitor: nothing is going to change her mind. Rosina thinks that Figaro, who’s just entered the room, will certainly help her, being Don Bartolo’s barber, surgeon, veterinary and apothecary. Figaro, of course, is willing to give his service. They are interrupted by Don Bartolo’s arrival. Figaro leaves right away and Rosina, after having answered viciously to a suspicious questioning, leaves the room as well.
Don Bartolo comes in together with Don Basilio - former music teacher who, under the guise of teaching to Rosina, becomes the tutor’s accomplice, hoping of earning some money – and immediately rushes to complete his plan of marrying Rosina as soon as possible. Basilio reports that Count Almaviva has arrived in Seville. Bartolo trembles to the idea that the stranger could approach the girl. Basilio proposes to discredit him by spreading malicious gossip but Bartolo prefers immediate action, and goes off with Basilio to draw up a marriage contract.
Rosina returns accompanied by Figaro, whose news about Bartolo’s wedding plans don’t worry the girl. On the contrary, Rosina presses Figaro for further information about the young man, whom she has heard at dawn talking with him from beneath her window. Figaro says he is only a poor student. By making naïve but smart questions, the girl finally succeeds in having the confirmation that the young man is in love with her and that he’s waiting for an encouraging note. After a display of maidenly modesty, she produces a note she has already written. Figaro praises the girl’s mischief and happily sets out to deliver the letter.
Don Bartolo returns. His suspicions are aroused by the fact that pen and paper have been used and that ink stains are on her fingers. Rosina’s excuses don’t work and, menacing of locking her up, Bartolo leaves in a rage. Rosina, sure of acting in defiance of Bartolo whenever she wants, does not distress and enters her rooms.
Count Almaviva arrives in his cavalry soldier disguise and pretending to be drunk, so he can make fun of the rage of Bartolo, who rushed in at his shouts, and who refuses to billet him in his house, despite the fake “lodging note”. Hearing the confusion, Rosina enters and the Count, revealing to her as Lindoro, slips a love letter to the girl, among thousands tricks to elude the tutor’s jealous attentions. But Bartolo, even thought he was searching for a license which allegedly exempts him from such impositions, witnesses it and demands to see it. Rosina manages to switch it with a laundry list. Bartolo pours his anger over the insolent drunk soldier, who wants to stay at all costs, and cries for help, so a police officer, followed by soldiers, arrives to silence the noise. Figaro’s attempts to calm things down, pretending to quarrel with Lindoro, are ineffective. The officer in charge is about to arrest the Count but backs off when the Count takes him aside and secretly reveals his noble identity. The officer withdraws avoiding arrest: those present comment on the fact, stunned, while the Count and Figaro laugh with satisfaction.
A room used as study in Don Bartolo’s house.
Don Bartolo is troubled: he’s searched everywhere at the regiment, but nobody knows the drunken soldier. Is he a Count’s emissary who has designs on the girl? A few knocks on the door diverts him from his sad thoughts.
In the meantime, Count Almaviva finds a new way to gain entrance to Don Bartolo’s house disguised as Don Alonso, the alleged student of the ailing Don Basilio, who has sent him to teach the music lesson. Nevertheless, feeling Bartolo’s mounting suspicion of him, Don Alonso produces Rosina’s love letter pretending to have intercepted it as it was directed to Count Almaviva. After having allayed Bartolo’s suspicions by demonstrating he is really on his side, Don Alonso is allowed to give Rosina his music lesson, while Bartolo dozes in his chair. Rosina enters and recognizes in Don Alonso her suitor Lindoro; this leaves the two lovers free to express their feelings for each other. But the young man is not able to warn Rosina about the fact that the letter is in Bartolo’s hands now.
Figaro arrives to shave Bartolo, further distracting him from his ward’s blossoming romance. Figaro takes Bartolo’s keys to the linen closet, using this opportunity to steal the key to the balcony window. Plans are almost upset by the sudden appearance of Don Basilio, looking the picture of health; nevertheless the three conspirators succeed in persuading Don Basilio that he is ill. Confused but half convinced, Don Basilio, bribed by Lindoro, finally accepts a purse full of money, feigns illness and departs. Almaviva and Rosina plan to elope that night by the balcony and get married. Lindoro wishes to warn Rosina about the letter but Don Bartolo overhears an indiscreet reference, enough to get a sense of what is going on and, furious, drives everyone out of the house. Bartolo locks the doors and runs himself to put a guard at the entrance, since he no longer trusts even the maid Berta, who cannot but comment all the nonsense that are occurring at home because of love.
Don Bartolo has found Basilio and learns that the self-styled Don Alonso is completely unknown and that Basilio believes he is the same Count Almaviva. So the old lover pushes to marry Rosina that same night. Basilio warns him that it’s not possible, since the notary is going to wed Figaro’s nephew. But Bartolo well knows that Figaro has no nephew, so he understands that it’s a deceit and immediately sends the music teacher to get the notary. Then he shows the girl her own note insinuating that her Lindoro is plotting to give her up to the powerful Count Almaviva. Rosina, feeling hurt and betrayed, impetuously agrees to marry Bartolo out of revenge, and also reveals to him her previous elopement plans. Don Bartolo goes for the police, intending to have the conspirators arrested when they come for Rosina. Figaro and the Count climb into the house through Rosina’s balcony. At first the girl rebuffs and reproaches Lindoro, but the Count is delighted to see that, unaware of his identity, Rosina prefers a true but impoverished lover to a wealthy nobleman. However, once the Count has revealed that he and Lindoro are one and the same, they embrace. Figaro urges haste, but Bartolo, a step ahead, has removed the ladder from the balcony. Now events must be faced!
Basilio cautiously enters with the notary. Figaro takes advantage of such a luck: he introduces Rosina and Almaviva to the notary and tells him that they’re the couple he has to wed. Basilio’s objections are silenced by the allurement of a precious ring and by the menace of a loaded gun. Don Basilio is persuaded, signs the contract as a witness, together with Figaro, and so the two lovers are finally husband and wife.
Bartolo returns with an officer and a group of soldiers to arrest the Count and Figaro, believing that Rosina is still willing to marry him: when he realizes that there is nothing to do anymore, he loses all hope, throws accusations on all those presents and points at the Count as a thief, thinking that they’re going to arrest him. But Almaviva reveals his rank and title. Bartolo is still furious but, hearing that Almaviva allows him to have Rosina’s dowry, he gives in and resigns. The story ends with rejoicing all around.