Il Barbiere di Siviglia - Premiere - Schedule, Program & Tickets

Il Barbiere di Siviglia - Premiere

musical direction
Michele Mariotti
Staging and stage
Herbert Fritsch
Victoria Behr
Carsten Sander
Count Almaviva
Juan Diego Flórez
Paolo Bordogna
Marianne Crebassa
Don Basilio
Ildar Abdrazakov
Davide Luciano
Ruth Brauer-Kvam

The barber of Seville introduces himself as the “factotum of the whole city”: as a helper in all situations. Like all barbers of his time, he is not only responsible for beard and hair care, but also for tearing teeth and bloodletting. In addition, Figaro's offer also includes services for lovers and those willing to marry, such as secret transport of letters or serenades by order.

Despite his self-promotion, Figaro's ideas prove to be of little help when he is supposed to support Count Almaviva in winning Rosina's hand. Rosina lives locked up with her guardian Bartolo, who wants to secure her fortune by marrying her himself. All of Figaro's plans for how Almaviva could get closer to his beloved fail in - for the audience - the most amusing way. Ultimately, money and power make the Count the victor in this fight, which is a game for himself, but bitterly serious for Bartolo.

Originally the opera was called Almaviva, o sia L’inutile precauzione (Almaviva or The useless caution) - the main character was Count Almaviva. However, the public's love quickly focused on the extroverted barber. This was due to the fact that the count's great aria "Cessa di più resistere" was often canceled because of its length and immense difficulty. In reality, however, it is not the barber's strategies, which escalate again and again, but rather the aristocracy's means of power that help his love to win.

The opera is based on the stucco of the same name by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, which premiered in 1775. This transformed character types and plot elements of the Italian impromptu comedy, the Commedia dell’arte, first into an opera comique, then into a prose comedy, which also included impressions of entering Spain. The piece later became the first part of Beaumarchais ’Figaro trilogy.

The opera also owes its enormous stage effectiveness to the libretto by Cesare Sterbini, which provides Rossini with ideal music-making occasions, including one of his famous ›crescendo rolls‹: Bartolo's ally Basilio traces the development of a rumor in his »Defamation Aria« in detail, from the low whisper to the explosion of a ›shitstorm‹. And in the finale of Act 1, the text of the opera conjures up the image of a »hell forge«, which the music paints with relish with the sound of hammers and anvils.

Subject to changes.

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