a comic opera in two acts by Gioacchino Rossini & Cesare Sterbini
Sung in Italian with projected English translations
University Opera Theatre directed by Robert Swedberg
University Symphony Orchestra conducted by Clinton Smith
The Story: Smitten at first sight by the lovely Rosina, Count Almaviva engages the barber Figaro to facilitate a meeting. Wishing to be loved for himself and not his wealth, Almaviva disguises himself in various ways to earn her affections. Fortune smiles when she responds, but a problem remains – her elderly guardian Dr. Bartolo, who has his own designs to be Rosina’s husband to gain her dowry! It is up to the ingenious Figaro to plot a solution involving subterfuge, eavesdropping, and even abduction that will allow the course of true love to win the day.
Background: The Barber of Seville debuted in 1816 with a disastrous opening, followed by an equally exuberant and acclaimed second performance. Composer Giuseppe Verdi declared, “I cannot help believing Il barbiere di Siviglia, for abundance of ideas, for comic verve, and for truth of declamation, the most beautiful ‘opera buffa’ in existence.” From Barber’s immediately recognizable overture (Bugs Bunny anyone?) to its glorious arias including “Largo al factotum” and “Una voce poco fa,” Rossini’s score is filled with soaring lyricism and delightful melodies. A vivacious romp, The Barber of Seville endures as a beloved and charming opera full of fun.With its instantly recognizable overture, soaring lyricism and delightful melodies, this vivacious romp introduces us to the beloved opera character, Figaro.