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Don Bartolo Don Bartolo

Opera details:

Opera title:

Il Barbiere di Siviglia


Giaochino Rossini




Il Barbiere di Siviglia Synopsis


Il Barbiere di Siviglia Libretto


English Deutsch

Ensemble details:




Don Basilio / Count Almaviva / Figaro


Bass / Tenor / Baritone



Previous scene: Ah! qual colpo inaspettato
Next scene: Zitti zitti piano piano


Singer(s): Salvatore Baccaloni Walter Berry Fernando Corena Enzo Dara Cesare Siepi Giuseppe Taddei Gabriel Bacquier

Fernando Corena, Bass (1916-1984)

A un dottore della mia sorte
Recorded 1952

My personal opinion: Things never turn out the way than you expect. The Swiss born Fernando Corena had a lush bass voice and always wanted to be an interpreter of dramatic roles such as King Philipp in Verdi's DON CARLO or Fiesco in SIMON BOCCANEGRA. But life had other plans: Corena became one of the most sought after comedians, an "outstanding buffo in action today and the greatest scene stealer in the history of opera" (Harold C. Schonberg).
No one was more surprised about that as the singer himself: "I was considered as a real discovery, a bass who sings and makes the audience laugh!"
After several dramatic roles, Corena's success came with a Verona performance as Don Bartolo in Rossini's IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA. An italian reviewer praised: "At last a Bartolo, who really sings!"
In 1953 he made his first appearance at the Edinburgh Festival in the title role of Giuseppe Verdi's FALSTAFF, and soon later Corena was highly regarded for his performances of comedic characters - a true successor to the legendary italian bass buffo Salvatore Baccaloni (1900-1969).
On February 6, 1954 Corena sang his first Leporello at the Metropolitan Opera, surrounded by a stellar cast: Cesare Siepi, Margaret Harshaw, Lucine Amara, Cesare Valletti and Roberta Peters as Zerlina. "On the basis of this one performance, Mr. Corena would seem to be a most valuable addition to the number of singing-actors at the opera house. Given little chance to rehearse in the new unit set for DON GIOVANNI, Mr. Corena moved about in it with agility and seeming ease, creating a Leporello that was human and comical, never a buffoon", wrote an unknow critic.
But no rose without thorns: Corena's success in funny parts was a 'double-edged sword'. On the one hand, he made great impression on the audience, which died laughing - on the other hand (and this you can hear on discs) his technique was not sufficient enough to do justice to the vocal needs of a role such as Osmin in DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL (1965 under Mehta with Rothenberger, Grist and Wunderlich) or the Bey Mustafá in Rossini's L'ITALIANA IN ALGERI. He has fulfilled these roles with lively humor, but not with technical virtuosity. Moreover: If you hear Corena's recordings, his vocal overacting with chuckling and squeaking wears off quickly. These are acoustic means of expression from a dusty panopticon.
Perhaps more than any other bass buffo, Corena gave profile to the role of the sacristan in Puccini's TOSCA. Between 1955 and 1978 he sang the short but remarkable part more than 120 times at the Metropolitan Opera, and he gave 'I colori' to many Cavaradossi: Campora, Di Stefano, Barioni, Peerce, Del Monaco, Tucker, Corelli, Kónya, Bergonzi, Domingo and Pavarotti (to name only the most prominent). Corena has sung the sacristan in studio productions five times: 1952 (Erede), 1957 with Milanov, Björling and Warren under Leinsdorf, 1959 with Tebaldi, Del Monaco, London under Molinari-Pradelli, 1962 with Leontyne Price, Di Stefano and Taddei under Karajan - and again under Karajan 16 years later at the age of 62 with Carreras, Raimondi and Katia Ricciarelli, "who walked over the red carpet rolled-out by Karajan, without, however, being a TOSCA", wrote Robert Werba in 'Opern auf Schallplatten'.
Corena was one of those singers, who replaced the requirements of true 'Belcanto' singing with humor, even silliness. This harms a little bit his Don Bartolo in Alberto Eredes recording of IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA. He formed the difficult speech-part ("Signorina, un altra volta") at terrific speed with plastic articulation, but not with the same malleability and vocal elegance of Enzo Dara, who literally danced on the syllables.
In Leporello's 'Madamina' from Mozart's DON GIOVANNI we can hear Corena's resonant bass, but it's an interpretation without those subtleness, wherewith Giuseppe Taddei, Walter Berry or Gabriel Bacquier have enriched the character. John Steane wrote in 'The Grand Tradition': "An unsteady line and aspirated sketchy runs spoil the work of Corena."
Apparently blessed with an effective stage presence, Fernando Corena was an indispensable constant in comic supporting roles. Beyond this genre, he was surpassed much too often by other basses. Corena once said: "All you need for comedy in opera is a good voice and the courage to improvise!"
Fact is: On stage, he has raised some supporting role to a higher level. And what would opera be without the comedians in minor parts?

Still two videos are in stock for this series.

Watch videos with other singers performing Don Bartolo Don Bartolo:

Gioacchino Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia 12215
2 - Teresa Berganza
5 - Luigi Alva
6 - Hermann Prey
7 - Enzo Dara
7 - Paolo Montarsolo
Pace e gioia sia con voi 32341
6 - Gino Quilico
7 - Carlos Feller
7 - Robert Lloyd

El Barbero De Sevilla Aria de Bartolo A un dottor della mia sorte  25240
6 - Pietro Spagnoli
6 - Ruggero Raimondi
Il Barbiere di Siviglia Teatro Real Madrid 2005 Buona Sera Mio Signore  25390
1 - María Bayo
5 - Juan Diego Flórez
6 - Pietro Spagnoli
6 - Ruggero Raimondi

Rossini Barbiere di Siviglia La calunnia Bonaldo Giaiotti 10051
7 - Bonaldo Giaiotti
Il Barbiere di Siviglia Gioacchino Rossini Cesare SiepiWMV 25400
7 - Cesare Siepi
7 - Enzo Dara

Quintetto Il barbiere di Siviglia Meli Regazzo Vassallo Pratico Belfiore 2010 25388
5 - Francesco Meli
7 - Lorenzo Regazzo

IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA Finale 22 Mi par d esser con la testa  12216
1 - Beverly Sills
2 - Fedora Barbieri
5 - Nicolai Gedda
6 - Renato Capecchi
6 - Ruggero Raimondi
6 - Sherrill Milnes

La calunnia Simone Alaimo 95463
6 - Renato Capecchi
6 - Simone Alaimo
Gioachino Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia A un dottor della mia sorte Andrew Shore in English 25250
6 - Andrew Shore

Alessandro Corbelli A un dottor della mia sorte Firenze 2006 95193
6 - Alessandro Corbelli
Il vecchiotto cerca moglie Il Barbiere di Siviglia Maria Callas 28287
1 - Maria Callas
5 - Luigi Alva
6 - Tito Gobbi
7 - Melchiorre Luise
7 - Nicola Rossi-Lemeni

100 Singers FERNANDO CORENA 95197
6 - Gabriel Bacquier
6 - Giuseppe Taddei
6 - Walter Berry
7 - Cesare Siepi
7 - Enzo Dara
7 - Fernando Corena
7 - Salvatore Baccaloni
Basso SALVATORE BACCALONI Il barbiere Siviglia Manca un foglio aria alternativa 1930 95200
7 - Luigi Lablache
7 - Salvatore Baccaloni

Rossini Buona sera mio signore Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Aetion 25405
1 - Maria Callas
5 - Luigi Alva
6 - Tito Gobbi
7 - Nicola Zaccaria
Il barbiere di Siviglia finale atto I Pesaro 2018 95527
5 - Maxim Mironov
6 - Pietro Spagnoli

Dran Dupuis Deshayes et al Il barbiere di Siviglia Act I finale 37817
2 - Karine Deshayes
7 - Nicolas Courjal
GRossini Il Barbiere di Siviglia A un dottor della mia sorte Paolo Bordogna 95221
6 - Paolo Bordogna

Il Barbiere di Siviglia Rossini Ettore Bastianini Ah che vedo 192761
6 - Ettore Bastianini
7 - Fernando Corena
Alfredo Kraus Ecco ridente in cielo Il Barbiere di Siviglia 1968 14710
5 - Alfredo Kraus
6 - Piero Cappuccilli

Rossini Il Barbiere di Siviglia Act I Finale de los Angeles Bechi Monti Serafin 1952 12237
1 - Victoria de los Ángeles
5 - Nicola Monti
6 - Gino Bechi
7 - Melchiorre Luise
7 - Nicola Rossi-Lemeni

Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia Ma vedi il mio destino Don Bartolo Act Two 48837
7 - Nicolai Ghiaurov

Il Barbiere di Siviglia Act II Orsu Signor Don Bartolo FigaroBartoloConteRosina 196033
5 - Luigi Alva
6 - Tito Gobbi
7 - Nicola Zaccaria
Il barbiere di Siviglia Act II Quintetto Don Basilio Rosina Conte Figaro Bartolo 25383
2 - Giulietta Simionato
5 - Luigi Infantino
6 - Giuseppe Taddei

Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia Orsu Signor Don Bartolo Figaro Act Two 48822
6 - Sesto Bruscantini
Il Barbiere di Siviglia Act II Orsu signor don Bartolo  196041
5 - Luigi Infantino
6 - Giuseppe Taddei

Il barbiere di Siviglia Act II Scene 10 Don Bartolo Don Bartolo Figaro Almaviva 203296
5 - Nicola Monti
6 - Renato Capecchi


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Full libretto Il Barbiere di Siviglia

English Libretto or Translation:

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Full English translation Il Barbiere di Siviglia

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