Il barbiere di Siviglia
The wealthy Count Almaviva, disguised as a student named »Lindoro«, has won the heart of the beautiful Rosina. Unfortunately, Rosina’s jealous guardian Dr Bartolo wishes to marry his ward himself and so tries to keep all her suitors away. But »Lindoro« is lucky enough to have the ingenious and lovable barber Figaro by his side. By means of various disguises and elaborate machinations, Figaro and Almaviva manage to pull the wool over old Bartolo’s eyes and pave the way for the count and Rosina to live together in wedded bliss.
The 23-year-old Rossini composed Il barbiere di Siviglia in the space of just three weeks. Witty, fiery and vibrant, it is a masterpiece of Italian opera buffa. It was based on the 1772 play »La Précaution inutile ou le Barbier de Séville«, a prequel to Mozart’s »Le nozze di Figaro« written by the French poet, secret agent and arms smuggler Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais. Rossini’s humorously drawn characters, dazzling solos, captivating melodies and fast-paced ensembles are displayed to full effect in Ruth Berghaus’s timeless 1968 production (with an ingenious yet simple stage design by the young Achim Freyer). Bursting with life and comic moments, it has lost none of its youthful freshness and joyous vitality even after over 350 performances.