I don't get to the opera much any more, living in Palm Springs. In a public square outside Bartolo's house a band of musicians and a poor student named Lindoro are serenading, to no avail, the window of Rosina ("Ecco, ridente in cielo"; "There, laughing in the sky"). Berganza and Alva combine to make this a benchmark production. (Duet: "Dunque io son...tu non m'inganni? Any further comparisons would be unfair to Bayrakdarian and Schneiderman.). In San Francisco, the American mezzo-soprano Helene Schneiderman gave a performance long on intelligence but shy in the surefooted fioratura and rich sound to bring Rosina fully to life. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 13, 2013. However, her fee was too high and in the end they settled on Geltrude Righetti. many years ago and had the impression that it was on location which shows that the set was quite convincing, more so than some stage productions. Nellie Melba followed suit, accompanying herself on the piano in the final song. San Francisco's Barbiere moved the action to the late 20th century.  Furthermore, many of the audience were supporters of one of Rossini's rivals, the veteran Giovanni Paisiello, who played on mob mentality to provoke the rest of the audience to dislike the opera. Founder Luigi Alva, no other Count Almaviva for me. Rossini - Il Barbiere Di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), Rossini - La Cenerentola / Frederica von Stade, Francisco Araiza, Paolo Montarsolo, Claudio Desderi, Laura Zannini, Claudio Abbado, Rossini - Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) / Cambreling, Ewing, Rawnsley, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Rossini - Der Barbier von Sevilla (Il Barbiere di Siviglia/The Barber of Seville), Puccini: Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera, Verdi - Rigoletto / Luciano Pavarotti, Ingvar Wixell, Edita Gruberova, Victoria Vergara, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Riccardo Chailly. Knowing the Count only as Lindoro, Rosina writes to him. Not wanting to leave Rosina alone with the singing teacher, Bartolo insists Figaro shave him right there in the music room. In modern performance the role of Berta is also sung by mezzo-sopranos, and it is listed as mezzo-soprano by Richard Osborne 1992, p. 311. It was first performed in America on 3 May 1819 in English (probably the Covent Garden version) at the Park Theatre in New York. Basilio suddenly appears for his scheduled music lesson, but he is bribed by a full purse from Almaviva and persuaded to leave again, with much discussion of how ill he looks. Herman Prey, forever the "Factotum della città". Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. ), Reviewed in the United States on July 31, 2009. There is, throughout this performance, a very Spanish variety of energy with background characters moving about with references to Spanish dance movements and postures which also feature strongly at the conclusion of the opera. The first Beaumarchais play was originally conceived as an opéra comique, but was rejected as such by the Comédie-Italienne. Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia is based on the same trilogy of plays by Pierre Beaumarchais as Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro.The two operas share their hero – the silver-tongued barber Figaro – but Rossini’s Figaro is much cleverer and more calculating than Mozart’s, the puppet-master of the whole comedy. (This aria was originally written in the key of E major, but it is sometimes transposed a semitone up into F major for coloratura sopranos to perform, giving them the chance to sing extra, almost traditional, cadenzas, sometimes reaching high Ds or even Fs.). Lauren McNeese, an American mezzo who came up through the ranks at Chicago Lyric, was making her role debut in these performances. , The singing lesson in act 2 has often been turned into "a show-stopping cabaret. A stylish production and performance of considerable character, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 21, 2011. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. Famous contralto Rosinas include Ewa Podleś. In particular, the sheer comedy of the Sterbini text has never been more evident. Two important characters in Nozze who are not in Barbiere are Susanna, whose pending nuptials with Figaro are referred to in the opera's title, and Cherubino, the teenage swain who is constantly tormenting the Count. Sung in Chicago by the soprano Ruth Ann Swenson, her voice like double cream, the arias were heartbreaking and the lines in the finale guaranteed to bring a tear. In the end, the characters emerged more vividly in San Francisco's Barbiere, with solid singing across the board and stylish conducting by Stefan Soltesz attaining all the liveliness and grace one could ask for. (I admit, it helps greatly if you understand Italian; the English translations do nothing to bring out the humor in his language. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average.  The original French play, Le Barbier de Séville, had a similar story: poorly received at first, only to become a favorite within a week. "; "My head seems to be in a fiery forge: the sound of the anvils deafens the ear."). This item: Rossini - Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Hermann Prey DVD $18.28. Basilio leaves and Rosina arrives.  The premiere was not a failure, but critics condemned the "audacity" of the young composer and the work is now forgotten.. I know the make up may be a bit dated but the cast is wonderful and the set convincing. Mozart's Count, a mature baritone, is usually portrayed as an awkward bumbler, but his music infuses his character with a noble sheen, and when he begs the Countess' forgiveness in the finale, we easily buy his sincerity -- at least in the moment. Seen&Heard Isabel Bayrakdarian, who sang Rosina when Chicago did Barbiere in the 2001-2002 season, has the stage presence to bring Susanna to life, but she suffers vocally in a cast with Swenson. There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. A capivating performance - riot of colour. Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro by Hermann Prey DVD $30.99. The conductor looks to his right for the cellos and basses and the sound comes out the speaker on the other side of the scene. Bartolo shows Rosina the letter she wrote to "Lindoro," and persuades her that this is proof that Lindoro is merely a flunky of Almaviva and is toying with her at Almaviva's behest. While Almaviva and Rosina are enraptured by one another, Figaro keeps urging them to leave. As she is leaving the room, Bartolo enters with the music teacher Basilio. Weinstock 1968, p. 54; Oborne, Charles 1994, p. 57. The Countess in Nozze, for example, has pure musical lines of regal elegance, tinged with an emotional vulnerability that gives her unexpected depth. We know she knows something about deceit herself, having just seen her younger self spring a few whoppers in the previous night's entertainment. Figaro advises the Count to disguise himself as a drunken soldier, ordered to be billeted with Bartolo, so as to gain entrance to the house. Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Stefan Soltesz, conductor; San Francisco Opera, War Memorial Opera House, October 16, 2003 (HS). If you 've never seen an opera you can't do better than The Barber of Seville! Bartolo overhears the lovers conspiring, and angrily drives everybody away. Indeed, the work sparkles with melody, it is witty and stunningly comedic.  The play as it is now known was premiered in 1775 by the Comédie-Française at the Théâtre des Tuileries in Paris. (Quintet: "Don Basilio! Seeing the two operas on successive evenings, even in sharply different settings, added for me some extra layers of meaning. Seen&Heard is part of MusicWeb Webmaster: Len Mullenger Len@musicweb-international.com. Bartolo and the Count argue loudly. Finally, the noise attracts the attention of the Officer of the Watch and his troops, who crowd into the room. Tigges has a strong, clear bass-baritone sound, but not yet the stage presence to portray Mozart's older, smarter if less independent Figaro. The première of Rossini's opera (under the title Almaviva, o sia L'inutile precauzione) took place on 20 February 1816 at the Teatro Argentina, Rome, with designs by Angelo Toselli. After a long wait, it has happened. Also listed as soprano by Gossett & Brauner 2001, p. 776; Charles Osborne 1994, p. 52; and Kobbé 1997, p. 667. A room in Bartolo's house with four doors, The scene begins with Rosina's cavatina, "Una voce poco fa" ("A voice a little while ago"). Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2005, I have been searching for this particular presentation of Il Barbiere for years. Almaviva and Figaro climb up a ladder to the balcony and enter Rosina's room through a window. "; "Don Basilio! Please try again. Musicologists believe that, true to form, the music for Il barbiere di Siviglia was composed in just under three weeks, although the famous overture was actually recycled from two earlier Rossini operas, Aureliano in Palmira and Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra and thus contains none of the thematic material in Il barbiere di Siviglia itself. As spectacularly as Gioachino Rossini's »Il Barbiere di Siviglia« failed at its premiere in 1816, it was quick to materialise into a worldwide success for the ages, with many a musical number having meshed itself into popular culture even to the general public who has never stepped foot in an opera house. Thanks in no small part to the smart direction of Sir Peter Hall for the Chicago Nozze and Johannes Schaaf for the San Francisco Barbiere, we could see the characters evolve right before our eyes. Teresa Berganza, unsurpassed Rosina. Editor: Marc Bridle The opera was first performed in England on 10 March 1818 at the King's Theatre in London in Italian, soon followed on 13 October at the Covent Garden Theatre by an English version translated by John Fawcett and Daniel Terry. In particular, Paisiello and his followers were opposed to the use of basso buffo, which is common in comic opera. Using bribes and threats, Almaviva coerces the notary into marrying him to Rosina, with Basilio and Figaro as the legally required witnesses. Bartolo orders Basilio to have the notary ready to marry him to Rosina that evening. Il barbiere di Siviglia – The ultimate comedy for the opera house. The La Scala production, with Alva, Prey and Berganza, was presented on the PBS Great Performance series in 1972. , The role of Rosina was originally written for a contralto. Rossini's Almaviva, a youthful tenor, pretends to test Rosina's love by posing as a penniless student, but he's not shy about revealing his noble rank to get out of one fix after another.
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