|Il Barbiere di Siviglia|
|Il Barbiere di Siviglia Synopsis|
|Il Barbiere di Siviglia Libretto|
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|Rosina / Don Basilio / Count Almaviva / Figaro|
|Contralto or Mezzo-Soprano / Bass / Tenor / Baritone|
|Previous scene:||Ma signor ma un dottor|
|Next scene:||Ma vedi il mio destino|
Joyce DiDonato as Rosina, Juan Diego Flórez as Count Almaviva, Pietro Spagnoli as Figaro, Alessandro Corbelli as Doctor Bartolo, Ferruccio Furlanetto as Don Basilio, Jennifer Rhys-Davies as Berta and men of the Royal Opera Chorus in 'Mi par d'esser con la testa' from the Act I finale of Gioachino Rossini's opera Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville).
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The 23-year-old Gioachino Rossini completed his masterpiece Il barbiere di Siviglia incredibly quickly – legend has it in just 13 days – which Rossini attributed to ‘facility and lots of instinct’. He drew on Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais’ play Le Barbier de Seville – part of a dramatic trilogy that also inspired Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. The opera is characterized by youthful energy and bold wit: qualities brought to the fore in Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s colourful production.
Il barbiere di Siviglia has all the ingredients for comic chaos: an imprisoned young woman, her lecherous guardian and a young noble suitor. Skilfully plotting behind the scenes is Figaro – an irrepressible and inventive character in whom many have seen a resemblance to the young Rossini himself. The score fizzes with musical brilliance, from Figaro’s famous entrance aria ‘Largo al factotum’ to the frenzy of the Act I finale, when the five principal voices pile on top of each other. Within a few decades of its 1816 premiere, Il barbiere di Siviglia had been toured round the world, reaching opera houses in New York, Buenos Aires, Trinidad and Ecuador. It has remained one of the most prominent and popular operas in the repertory.
Mi par d'essere con la testa
in un'orrida fucina,
dove cresce e mai non resta
delle incudini sonore
Alternando questo e quello
fa con barbara armonia
muri e volte rimbombar.
E il cervello, poverello,
già stordito, sbalordito,
non ragiona, si confonde,
si riduce ad impazzar.
My head seems to be
in a fiery smithy,
the sound of the anvils,
ceasless and growing.
deafens the ear.
Up and down, high and low,
striking heavily, the hammer
makes the very walls resound
with a barbarous harmony.
Thus our poor, bewildered brain,
in confusion, without reason,
is reduced to insanity. etc.
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