Libretto by: Cesare Sterbini based on the comedy of the same name by Pierre Beaumarchais
Musical director and conductor: Dmitri Jurowski
Directed by: Dmitry Belyanushkin
Production designer: Alexander Arefiev
Costume designer: Maria Chernysheva
Lighting designer: Andrey Abramov
2 hours 50 minutes
NOVAT’s version 2018, directed by D. Belyanushkin
“The Barber of Seville” is the best opera by Gioachino Rossini, the last great example of the Italian comic opera buffa, and the favourite composition of all time (its première was held in Rome more than 200 years ago).
The opera is based on the play by the famous writer Pierre Beaumarchais, an attractive, witty, musically gifted Frenchman. The play evoked the delight of the royal court, although the central figure of the plot was a simple servant, Figaro by name — clever, mocking, persistent, enterprising, inexhaustible in scheming and unravelling other people’s schemes, never at a loss or discouraged, and always able to find a way out of any situation.
It was probably Gioachino Rossini — the “divine maestro”, “the sun of Italy” — who created the best opera on the basis of this play. It is full of funny comic tricks, unexpected plot twists, hilarious impersonations, and the atmosphere of wit, youth and love persists throughout the performance.
The music of the great Italian composer cannot but delight the audience — it is inventive, temperamental, light and elegant.
The events take place at the beginning of the twentieth century. Technical progress is gaining momentum. Dr. Bartolo opens his own health resort in the south of Spain, where he offers advanced methods of treatment for any diseases. The most respected Spaniards arrive there to get treated by the best doctors.
Figaro works in the sanatorium as a doctor, and also as an inventor, a repairman, a concierge, and even a barber. His main vocation, however, is to heal human souls. Moreover, he knows how to connect the hearts of lovers, and he is unmatched in this skill.
Count Almaviva is in love with the beautiful Rosina, who works for the doctor, but he cannot get into the sanatorium — there are absolutely no free places. Despite these circumstances, the Count is determined to win Rosina’s heart, and Figaro will become his faithful assistant in this endeavour.
As it turns out, the large number of state-of-the-art exercise machines and devices is just an excuse for the “pilgrimage” of the guests. In fact, the great popularity of the resort is due to the “love vaccine”, skilfully produced by Figaro by introducing people. His efforts result in the emergence of holiday romances, one of which develops into a marriage.