Il barbiere di Siviglia - Synopsis

Gioachino Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia Gioachino Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia. Vesselina Kasarova Gioachino Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia

Il barbiere di Siviglia

Gioachino Rossini
Cesare Sterbini

 

Act I

Count Almaviva has fallen in love with Rosina, the ward of Dr. Bartolo, who keeps her assiduously under lock and key. He secretly sings her a serenade. Almaviva meets Figaro, the Barber of Seville, who performs the tonsorial duties in Bartolo's home. Figaro tells the count that the old, penny-pinching Bartolo wants to marry Rosina so he can get his hands on her inheritance.

Rosina appears on the balcony. She intentionally drops a little note, which tells Almaviva that she would like to find out something more about her admirer.

When Bartolo goes out, the count presents himself to Rosina as Lindoro and proposes marriage to her. Almaviva gives Figaro a bribe to enlist the barber's support toward winning Rosina's hand. Figaro advises Almaviva he can get into Bartolo's house disguised as a soldier.

Rosina is longing for Lindoro and writes him a letter. Bartolo returns and receives a visit from Don Basilio, the music teacher. He warns Bartolo that Count Almaviva is abroad and has taken an interest in Rosina. Basilio also knows a way to drive the count out of town: slander.

Figaro has listened into their conversation and tells Rosina about their conspiracy. She gives him a love letter for Lindoro.

Bartolo finds ink on Rosina's hands, and notices that a sheet of letter paper is missing, which has aroused his suspicions.

Almaviva appears in Bartolo's house as a drunken soldier. He reveals himself to Rosina as Lindoro. Bartolo summons the guard to help him keep Almaviva from being quartered in his home. When they arrive, their commanding officer refuses to arrest Lindoro, having been tipped off about the situation, which triggers some general befuddlement amongst the others.

 

Act II

Almaviva reappears at Bartolo's house, this time as music teacher Don Alonso, who says he is filling in for the indisposed Don Basilio. Rosina recognizes the disguised Lindoro immediately. The suspicious Bartolo doesn't take his eyes off them. Lindoro wins his confidence when he gives him a letter from Rosina to Almaviva, revealing their secret connection. A music lesson is improvised, which calms Bartolo down, but he has no time for the modern style of music Alonso and Rosina are performing, whereupon he struts his stuff in a piece from his own youth.

Figaro arrives to give Bartolo a shave, taking advantage of the situation to purloin Bartolo's balcony key.

Unexpectedly the allegedly ill Basilio arrives, but with the aid of a well-filled purse from the count, he willingly departs from the scene.

Figaro and Almaviva plan to abduct Rosina at midnight. Rosina enthusiastically agrees to the plan, because she wants to go off with her beloved Lindoro. Bartolo suspects a plot and chases them away. He sends Basilio to the notary to prepare his wedding with Rosina. Then Bartolo slanders Lindoro to Rosina. He claims, showing her the letter Alonso/Lindoro had given him, that Lindoro is planning to turn her over to Almaviva.

The appalled Rosina then agrees to marry Bartolo and tells the old man of the plan to abduct her. Bartolo scurries off to alert the guard.

During a thunderstorm, the count and Figaro get into the house over the balcony. Almaviva then reveals his true identity to the reluctant Rosina.

Basilio returns with the notary and thwarts the escape of the three conspirators. A bribe helps Figaro convince Basilio to change sides and witness the wedding, whereupon a marriage contract between Rosina and the count is signed. The count turns over Rosina's dowry to the duped Bartolo as compensation.

English translation by Donald Arthur

© Bayerische Staatsoper