LEO NUCCI sings Figaro's aria 'Largo al factotum', from Act One of the opera 'Il barbiere di Siviglia' by Gioachino Rossini (live).
James Allen Gähres, conductor
Leo Nucci, baritone
Live recorded during open public concert.
Verdi - Don Carlo - LEO NUCCI 'Per me giunto', 'O Carlo, ascolta' - James A. Gähres, cond. (live):
Verdi - Un ballo in maschera - LEO NUCCI 'Alzati, là tuo figlio' - 'Eri tu che macchiavi quell'anima' - James A. Gähres, cond. (live):
Leoncavallo - I Pagliacci - LEO NUCCI 'Si può?' - James Allen Gähres, cond. (live):
Largo al factotum della città.
Presto a bottega che l'alba è già.
Ah, che bel vivere, che bel piacere
per un barbiere di qualità! di qualità!
Ah, bravo Figaro!
Fortunatissimo per verità!
Pronto a far tutto,
la notte e il giorno
sempre d'intorno in giro sta.
Miglior cuccagna per un barbiere,
vita più nobile, no, non si da.
Rasori e pettini
lancette e forbici,
al mio comando
tutto qui sta.
V'è la risorsa,
poi, del mestiere
colla donnetta... col cavaliere...
Tutti mi chiedono, tutti mi vogliono,
donne, ragazzi, vecchi, fanciulle:
Qua la parrucca... Presto la barba...
Qua la sanguigna...
Presto il biglietto...
Qua la parrucca, presto la barba,
Presto il biglietto, ehi!
Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!, ecc.
Ahimè, che furia!
Ahimè, che folla!
Uno alla volta, per carità!
Ehi, Figaro! Son qua.
Figaro qua, Figaro là,
Figaro su, Figaro giù.
Pronto prontissimo son come il fulmine:
sono il factotum della città.
Ah, bravo Figaro! Bravo, bravissimo;
a te fortuna non mancherà.
This 1815 masterpiece is widely considered the greatest of comic operas. The first performance, in Rome on February 20,1816 was a fiasco. The older opera composer Giovanni Paisiello had composed an opera on the same story, also called The Barber of Seville, in 1782. Rossini had misgivings about composing a new opera on the same text, so he first obtained Paisiello's gracious permission to go ahead, and originally called his new opera Almaviva, o sia L'inutile precauzione. This did not prevent Paisiello's claque from sabotaging the premiere, a feat in which they were aided by under-rehearsal, sloppy production, and stage effects which failed to work properly. Soon afterward, with some changes, the opera was presented again. Without Paisiello's fans creating an uproar, the performance was a success, and by the third performance it resulted in ovations and quickly went on to sweep the operatic world.
The Barber of Seville is the first of a trilogy of plays by the French dramatist Beaumarchais. These plays, which tended to depict nobility as buffoons dependant on and manipulated by their wily servants, were considered subversive in the late 1700s. (The Marriage of Figaro, the second of the plays, was turned into an opera by Mozart in 1786.) Figaro is the barber of the title. The plot involves the efforts of the amorous young Count Almaviva to woo and win the lovely Rosina, in the process outwitting her ward, Dr. Bartolo, who fancies her for himself. There are textual difference among production of the opera. The primary decision is whether Rosina's part should be sung by a mezzo-soprano (as Rossini originally intended) or by a soprano, as it has commonly been done since 1826, apparently with Rossini's permission. One of the great popular numbers in the opera is Rosina's 'Una voce poco fa', probably the most popular of all coloratura arias, while Bartolo gets his own aria, 'La Calunnia', all about the evil power of slander. Incidentally, the famous overture to the opera, which is probably among the most frequently heard compositions of Rossini's in the concert hall, was not composed originally for this opera at all! Rossini was short of time, so he simply grabbed an overture he had written earlier.
Gioachino Rossini, born February 29, 1792, was an Italian composer of operas, sacred music, songs, chamber music and piano pieces.
A precocious composer of operas, he made his full debut at the age of eighteen. His best-known operas include the Italian comedies Il barbiere di Siviglia, L'italiana in Algeri and La Cenerentola. He also wrote a string of serious operas in Italian, including works such as Tancredi, Otello and Semiramide. Rossini's most celebrated overtures are the Overtures to Guillaume Tell and to Il barbiere di Siviglia. After moving to Paris in 1824, serving as music director at the Théâtre Italien, he eventually started to write in French. His last opera, the epic Guillaume Tell, with its iconic overture, helped usher in grand opera in France.
After composing 39 significant operas in 19 years Rossini retired from composition in that genre in 1829. He died on November 13, 1868 in Paris.