Shave and a romcom, two bits.
The greatest operatic comedy returns to Madison Opera for the first time in twelve years. With a count in multiple disguises, a young woman trying to outwit her guardian, and a barber being paid to ensure a happy ending, what could possibly go wrong? Rossini’s spectacular, memorable music will thrill and delight from the first note to the last.
Whether you’ve seen this opera a thousand times or never, you’ll want to grab your seat in this barber shop.
* Madison Opera debut
Learn more about our cast!
Conductor: John DeMain
Director: Doug Scholz-Carlson
Sung in Italian with projected English translations
Friday, April 24, 2015 | 8pm
Sunday, April 26, 2015 | 2:30pm
Run time: approx. 3 hours, including one intermission
Opera Novice: Opera & Cartoons / March 27, 2015
Close: The Barber of Seville preview / April 19, 2015
Opera Talks: Pre-Opera lecture and Post-Opera
The Story of the Opera
Seville, 17th century.
ACT I. Count Almaviva comes in disguise to the house of Dr. Bartolo and serenades Rosina, whom Bartolo keeps confined to the house. The barber Figaro, who knows all the town’s secrets, arrives. He tells Almaviva that Rosina is Bartolo’s ward, not his daughter, and that the doctor intends to marry her. Figaro devises a plan: the count will disguise himself as a drunken soldier with orders to be quartered at Bartolo’s house so that he may meet Rosina.
Rosina reflects on the voice that has enchanted her and resolves to use her wiles to meet its owner, who she believes is a poor student named Lindoro. Bartolo appears with Rosina’s music master, Don Basilio. Basilio warns Bartolo that Count Almaviva, who has made known his admiration for Rosina, has been seen in Seville. Bartolo decides to marry Rosina immediately. Figaro overhears this and warns Rosina, promising to deliver a note from her to Lindoro. Bartolo suspects that Rosina has indeed written a letter and warns her not to trifle with him.
Almaviva arrives, creating a ruckus in his disguise as a drunken soldier, and passes Rosina a note. Bartolo is infuriated by the stranger’s behavior and says he has an exemption from billeting soldiers. The civil guard bursts in to arrest Almaviva, but when he quietly reveals his true identity to the captain, he is instantly released. Everyone except Figaro is amazed by this turn of events.
Bartolo suspects that the “soldier” was a spy planted by Almaviva. The count returns, this time disguised as Don Alonso, a student of Don Basilio. He says he will give Rosina her music lesson in place of Basilio, who is ill at home. Don Alonso tells Bartolo he will prove to Rosina that Lindoro is toying with her on Almaviva’s behalf. This convinces Bartolo that “Don Alonso” is indeed a student of Basilio, so he allows him to give Rosina her music lesson. As she sings her aria, Bartolo dozes off, and she and Almaviva express their love.
Figaro arrives to give Bartolo his shave and manages to steal the key that opens the doors to Rosina’s balcony. Suddenly Basilio shows up, looking perfectly healthy. Almaviva, Rosina, and Figaro convince him with a bribe that he has scarlet fever and must go home at once. While Bartolo gets his shave, Almaviva plots with Rosina to elope that night. But the doctor overhears them and furiously realizes he has been tricked again. Everyone disperses.
Bartolo tells Basilio to fetch a notary so Bartolo can marry Rosina that very night. Bartolo then shows Rosina her letter to Lindoro as proof that he is in league with Almaviva. Heartbroken and convinced that she has been deceived, she agrees to marry Bartolo. A thunderstorm rages. Figaro and the count climb a ladder to Rosina’s balcony and let themselves in with the key. Rosina confronts Lindoro, who finally reveals his true identity as Almaviva. Basilio shows up with the notary. Bribed and threatened, he agrees to be a witness to the marriage of Rosina and Almaviva. Bartolo arrives with soldiers, but it is too late. Almaviva explains to Bartolo that it is useless to protest and Bartolo accepts that he has been beaten. Figaro, Rosina, and the count celebrate their good fortune.
— courtesy of Opera News