The Barber of SevilleIl Barbiere di Siviglia
Gioacchino Rossini (1792 – 1868)
Melodramma buffo in two acts; Libretto by Cesare Sterbini, based on a drama by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Baumarchais; First performed on 20. February, 1816 in Rome; Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 29. November, 2009
In Italian language with German surtitles
|Conductor||Guillermo García Calvo|
|Costume-design||Guido Maria Kretschmer|
|Count Almaviva||Taylor Stayton|
|An officer||Stephen Barchi|
|Chorus||Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin|
|Orchestra||Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin|
This turbulent tale has an aged curmudgeon intent on marrying his own ward in order to get his hands on her inheritance. He does everything he can to prevent the attractive Rosina from having contact with the outside world - and possible young lovers. Little does he know that Count Almaviva has long since fallen in love with her. By enlisting the help of the engaging, energetic barber Figaro his plan is not only to get the better of the old man and win Rosina over but also to ensure that the young woman loves him for his own sake and not for his title and fortune. No easy task for Figaro, who is pitted against a number of opponents. But in the end love conquers all and the precautions taken in the elaborate venture turns out to have been for nothing.
Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732 – 1799) invented the cunning, scheming barber and made him the central figure in a trilogy of comedies, the first two parts of which – LE BARBIER DE SEVILLE OU LA PRECAUTION INUTILE (1775) and LA FOLLE JOURNEE OU LE MARIAGE DE FIGARO (1778) - are now world famous. The third part of the trilogy, L’AUTRE TARTUFFE OU LA MERE COUPABLE, which appeared in 1792, did not enjoy the success of its predecessors, conceivably due to the chaos of the French Revolution. Although the revolutionary potential of the work is best communicated by Mozart's brilliant score in the second part of the trilogy (DIE HOCHZEIT DES FIGARO,1786), the barber of the first part is likewise possessed of a lack of respect, making him predestined to head the cast of a comic opera. Giovanni Paisiello's music in the 1782 production of BARBIERE brought him wide acclaim and set a high standard for Rossini to follow as the latter went about reworking the material into a new comic opera. 34 years after Paisiello's success Rossini pulled off what remains perhaps the wittiest and peppiest opera buffa in the history of opera.
“It was Rossini through and through, his music at its loveliest in BARBIER VON SEVILLA. Those who despise Italian music and hasten to openly revile it will one day receive their just punishment in hell, perhaps condemned to listen for eternity to Sebastian Bach's fugues.” (Heinrich Heine)
Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance