The Barber of Seville: After the Curtain Falls

In Seville, the town barber is a man of many talents. From cutting hair to knowing the town gossip to matchmaking, Figaro is your go-to guy, especially when you need an elaborate scheme to marry the girl you love and save her from her pompous old guardian.

Craving more about Gioachino Rossini and The Barber of Seville? Lyric has lots of suggestions and resources to help you explore more about this production and its stories. Read on for cast profiles and video extras, suggestions on further reading and listening, relive moments from the show, take in notes about the opera and much more. Enjoy!

The Story

The Barber of Seville's story is simple but layered with comedic complications. The beautiful Rosina is pursued by Count Almaviva but Bartolo, Rosina's guardian, also wants to marry her. Before it's all over, the count has assumed several identities: 1) a guy named Lindoro, 2) a drunken soldier, and 3) a music teacher named Don Alonso. There's a close call with Rosina feeling betrayed and almost marrying Bartolo but through it all with a good deal of help from Figaro, love finds its way. After several comedic reverses, Rosina marries the count, and Bartolo, accepting his fate, joins in the celebration of love.

If you're unfamiliar with the story, or need a refresher, watch the video below for a quick overview of the plot. 

 

The Music

Rossini's Barber has endured for so many years because it is a flawless coupling of a delightful story that's full of extraordinarily human characters with Rossini's music – straightforward, easily comprehended by the listener, and bursting with energy, joy and an unbridled sense of spontaneity. Thanks to its impressive riffs and catchy melodies, the music from The Barber of Seville pops up everywhere in pop culture — click here to find out where you've heard these arias before, listen to excerpts below, then explore our recommendations for further listening.

Music Excerpts

The Barber of Seville

By Gioachino Rossini

The music featured is generously furnished by Warner Classics.

"Overture"
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"Largo al factotum"
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"Una voce poco fa"
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"Ecco ridente in cielo"
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Album Recommendations

To continue exploring The Barber of Seville, Lyric dramaturg and program editor Roger Pines suggests the following performances on CD and digital platforms:

Hagegård, Larmore, Gimenez, Corbelli, Ramey; Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne, Chorus of Grand Théâtre de Genève, cond. López-Cobos (Teldec)

 

Bruscantini, de los Angeles, Alva, Wallace, Cava; Glyndebourne Chorus, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Gui (EMI Classics)

 

Servile, Ganassi, Vargas, Romero, de Grandis; Hungarian Radio Chorus, Falloni Chamber Orchestra, cond. Humburg (Naxos)

Videos and DVDs

Watch the videos below to go behind the scenes of our production of The Barber of Seville and then continue your exploration with our recommendations for full-length broadcast recordings of the opera.

 

Rossini's Barber of Seville at Lyric Opera

Irrepressible Rosina refuses to marry her pompous old guardian. Meanwhile, a bold young count is eager to win Rosina for himself. And who’s going to make sure those two finish the opera united? The cleverest character in all of Seville: the barber Figaro, whose services are sought after by everyone for everything (the guy has a lot more talents than just cutting hair). Rossini’s music—the aural equivalent of champagne—is the last word in humor, inspiring smiles and laughter on every page of the score, which is what makes Barber the most popular of all operatic comedies.

 

Rossini's Barber of Seville: BY THE NUMBERS

Ever wonder how many hats, orchestra members, or gallons of water are in a Lyric Opera production? See what it takes to mount The Barber of Seville.

 

Sir Andrew Davis on The Barber of Seville

See why music director Sir Andrew Davis thinks The Barber of Seville is the perfect first opera.

 

DVD Suggestions

To continue exploring The Barber of Seville, Lyric dramaturg and program editor Roger Pines suggests the following performances on DVD:

Il Barbiere Di Siviglia

Spagnoli, DiDonato, Flórez, Corbelli, Furlanetto; Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, cond. Pappano, dir. Leiser and Caurier (Virgin Classics)

Buy on Amazon

 

Il Barbiere Di Siviglia

Bürger, de Niese, Stayton, Corbelli, Stamboglis; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Glyndebourne Chorus, cond. Mazzola, dir. Arden (Opus Arte)

BUY on AmazoN UK 

The Cast and Characters

At Lyric you'll hear a brilliant international cast. What's wonderful about these artists is that they're not only spectacularly accomplished singers — they're also priceless comedians! Learn more about the cast and the characters they portray here.

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE

Rossini’s music—the aural equivalent of champagne—is the last word in humor, inspiring smiles and laughter on every page of the score, which is what makes Barber the most popular of all operatic comedies.