The Barber of Seville
Thu, 28. Dec 2023, 19:30
Gioacchino Rossini (1792 – 1868)
For 200 years Rossini’s BARBIERE has been considered as the epitome of musical comedy. The archetypes of commedia dell’arte are constantly shimmering through the storyline revolving around the resourceful Figaro – an ambiguity that is not lost in Katharina Thalbach’s vibrant and hectic production … Conducted by Giulio Cilona/Lorenzo Passerini; directed by Katharina Thalbach; with Kangyoon Shine Lee / Sunnyboy Dladla / Juan de Dios Mateos, Alexey Zelenkov / Misha Kiria, Arianna Manganello / Cecilia Molinari / Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, Philipp Jekal / Mattia Olivieri, Gerard Farreras / Patrick Guetti, Flurina Stucki a. o.
About the workIt’s a rambunctious tale: an old curmudgeon is set on marrying his own ward of court with a view to snapping up her considerable inheritance. He leaves no stone unturned in his efforts to keep the fair Rosina cloistered from the outside world and thus from any potential young suitors. A pity, then, that Count Almaviva has fallen head over heels for her. Assisted by Figaro, an enterprising barber, he plans to outwit the old man, win over Rosina – and ensure that it’s love that attracts her to him rather than his rank and wealth. Not an easy job for Figaro, seeing as the opposite camp is scheming with equal tenacity … Love wins out in the end, and it turns out that all precautions were useless!
Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais [1732 –1799] dreamt up the character of the mischievous barber and wrote an entire comic trilogy about him, the first two instalments of which (LE BARBIER DE SÉVILLE OU LA PRÉCAUTION INUTILE  and LA FOLLE JOURNÉE OU LE MARIAGE DE FIGARO ) are world famous. Part 3, L’AUTRE TARTUFFE OU LA MÈRE COUPABLE , was not such a hit, perhaps due to the upheavals of the Revolution. Although the revolutionary potential was especially palpable in the second part, with its brilliant soundtrack courtesy of Mozart [THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, 1786], the barber of the first part oozes disrespect, which inevitably makes him the central protagonist in this comic opera. Giovanni Paisiello had a runaway success with his musical version of BARBIERE in 1782, meaning that Rossini was up against a seemingly unassailable precursor when he resolved to compete directly with Paisiello in writing a comic opera based on the same material. And he pulled it off: 34 years after his rival’s own hit show he delivered arguably the wittiest and peppiest opera buffa in the history of the genre.
About the productionThe action centring on the famous hair stylist, whose brainwaves solve all the challenges in the end, is transposed by Katharina Thalbach to the cheery setting of a sun-bathed seaside resort. Engines of locomotion ranging from vintage car to tractor and bicycle make their way across the stage. They include an odd-looking trolley that proceeds to regurgitate all the over-the-top characters from Italian commedia. Gaggles of tourists gather amongst the loungers and open-air showers to witness a vibrant and supercharged show that blurs the line between small and main stages, energising the auditorium in the process. With its memorable tunes and world-famous arias THE BARBER OF SEVILLE is one of the supreme classics of opera and, in Thalbach’s vivacious production featuring the plush costumes of Guido Maria Kretschmer, will be an event to remember for opera novices and connoisseurs alike.
Melodramma buffo in two actsLibretto by Cesare Sterbini, based on a drama by Pierre-Augustin Caron de BeaumarchaisFirst performed on 20. February, 1816 in RomePremiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 29. November, 2009
Recommended from 12 years on