THE BARBER OF SEVILLE
Music by Gioacchino Rossini
Libretto by Cesare Sterbini
Sung in Italian with English surtitles
FRI 12 | 7:30 PM
SUN 14 | 3:00 PM
WED 17 | 7:30 PM
FRI 19 | 7:30 PM
SUN 21 | 3:00 PM
CLASSIC OPERA | RIOTOUSLY FUNNY | MUSIC YOU LOVE
Sparkling and savvy, Rosina is determined to marry the man she loves—but how will she escape the clutches of her horrid guardian? With the help of Figaro, the cunning barber extraordinaire, of course! Schemes and delight abound as one of the greatest, wittiest, and zaniest operas returns to Boston in an enchanting new production directed by Rosetta Cucchi.
Count Almaviva is smitten with Rosina, the beautiful ward of old Dr. Bartolo, who intends to marry her. Figaro, barber extraordinaire, offers to help Almaviva win her heart. The Count tells Rosina that he is “Lindoro,” a humble student. Figaro suggests that Almaviva disguise himself as a soldier in order to gain access to Bartolo’s house.
The enamored Rosina writes a letter to “Lindoro” and vows to be with the man she loves. Basilio, her music teacher, warns Bartolo about the Count, and Bartolo decides to speed up his own marriage to Rosina. Almaviva arrives disguised as a drunken soldier but is refused entry—although he manages to slip Rosina a love note. Almaviva narrowly avoids arrest in the resulting confusion.
Later that day, Almaviva disguises himself as “Don Alonso,” a substitute music teacher, and the lovers plot their elopement during Rosina’s singing lesson. Figaro distracts Bartolo with a shave, but finally Bartolo get suspicious and throws everyone out.
Now, Bartolo is determined to marry Rosina that very night. He convinces Rosina that Lindoro is plotting with the Count to seduce her. Heartbroken, she agrees to marry Bartolo.
That night, Figaro and Almaviva steal into Rosina’s room. She accuses them of betrayal, but finally Almaviva reveals his true identity. Bartolo and a group of soldiers aren’t far behind—can Figaro’s quick wits win the day for love?
Jason Allen has been Boston Lyric Opera’s resident Wig and Makeup Designer since 2003. A fixture of the Boston performing arts community, he also works with Huntington Theatre Company, Boston Ballet, and many other organizations in Boston and throughout the country.
BOSTON LYRIC OPERA ORCHESTRA ANNIE RABBAT Concertmaster
BOSTON LYRIC OPERA CHORUS BRETT HODGDON‡ Chorus Master
REHEARSAL COACH/ACCOMPANIST BRETT HODGDON‡
ASSISTANT STAGE DIRECTOR MELANIE BACALING†
STAGE MANAGER ERIN JOY SWANK*
*Boston Lyric Opera Debut
† Boston Lyric Opera Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist
‡ Boston Lyric Opera Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist Alumnus
Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont Street | Boston, MA | 02116
Seating is divided into three levels: Orchestra, Mezzanine, and Balcony.
The Mezzanine and Balcony are accessible by stairs in the main lobby; there is no elevator access to these levels.The Mezzanine overhangs the Orchestra after row K.
There is no elevator access to the Mezzanine and Balcony.
Restrooms are located in the lower lobby and accessible by elevator.
There are 30+ stairs to reach the Mezzanine and 60+ stairs to reach the Balcony.
Listening devices are available at the box office windows in the lobby.
Restrooms for all patrons are on the balcony level and the lower lobby level.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
Concessions will be on sale for all performances and are permitted into the theater by the venue. BLO requests that candies and bags are enjoyed in the lobby prior to the performance.
There is no coat check available at the Cutler Majestic Theatre
Around 400 high school and college students across greater Boston attended BLO’s Final Dress Rehearsal of The Barber of Seville. For many, it was their first experience with opera. Many of the students were surprised and delighted that it was laugh-out-loud funny. Here are some of their remarks
In January, 1816, Gioacchino Rossini was up against a wall, and the person who put him there was himself. At the end of 1815, the composer was in Rome for the premiere of his opera Torvaldo e Dorliska which opened the day after Christmas. In the midst of the rehearsals and performances, the director of Rome’s Teatro Argentina asked him on very short notice to compose a new opera for carnival season in February.
She did it on a dare. Last year the mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack was in Washington, D. C., to sing the role of Bradamante in Handel’s opera Alcina. The conductor Jane Glover asked her if she thought she could sing a fearsomely long 72-note phrase in one of the arias on one breath. So Mack went away to a practice room one morning, chugged some coffee, and sailed right through it in front of a mic and video camera. She said there wasn’t much chance she could do it onstage in costume and moving around, but she would work on it.
Strolling through the streets of the city as he flits about from house to house and job to job, Figaro, the title character of The Barber of Seville, enjoys a freewheeling lifestyle limited only by his own imagination. The circumstances of Rosina, the opera’s principal female character, could hardly be more different. Her movements are restricted to the house of Doctor Bartolo, her guardian, and she fears that she may be trapped there forever, as Bartolo intends to marry her. But when Figaro learns that his friend Count Almaviva is smitten with Rosina, he devises a plan to bring them together, and at first it seems to work brilliantly. The nobleman disguises himself as a poor student named Lindoro to ensure that Rosina loves him for who he truly is, not for his title. She reciprocates his feelings and proclaims that “Lindoro shall be mine.” What could go wrong?
Lighter and more quirky than Mozart’s masterpiece, The Barber of Seville—Rossini’s classic opera buffa—revolves around stock characters taken from commedia dell’arte, which developed from comic entertainments by medieval musicians (minstrels, troubadours, trouvères, and minnesingers). In 16th-century Italy, these groups evolved into more elaborate traveling companies, presenting commedia dell’arte plays with distinctive masks or hats and stock characters such as wily servants (Arlecchino/Harlequin), old men (Il Dottore and Pantalone), and young lovers (Lindoro and Rosina).
THE BARBER OF SEVILLE Music by Gioacchino Rossini Libretto by Cesare Sterbini Sung in Italian with English surtitles Length: Approximately 3 hours, including 1 intermission WHO’S WHO MATTHEW WORTH AS FIGARO | DANIELA MACK AS ROSINA | JESUS GARCIA AS COUNT ALMAVIVA, with David Crawford as Basilio & Steven Condy as Bartolo Conducted by David Angus & directed by Rosetta Cucchi, Scenic Design by Julia Noulin-Mérat, Costume Design by Gianluca Falaschi, Lighting Design by D.M. Wood
What happens when you give members of your audience permission to live post about an opera? Comic genius, GIFs galour, and a social media powerhouse. Our Hype Team is taking over for another season. Brace for epic posts to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook all while learning more about the long time tradition of opera and theater. Want to feel like a rebel? Use your phone in the theater by joining the Hype Team.
Figaro, Figaro, Fi-ga-ro! It may be impossible to talk about revolutions and opera without circling back to that iconic, endearing, clever barber, Figaro—an archetypal character who has transcended genres, charmed generations, and helped inspire a revolution. The Figaro that we opera-fans know and love was drawn from the trilogy of plays by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais: The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, and The Guilty Mother. Barber was initially conceived as a comedic opera but was rejected, so Beaumarchais revised it as a play and it premiered in 1775. He followed its success with the even more provocative Marriage of Figaro,which shocked the king so much in its first private royal readings that it did not officially premiere until 1784. After that, Figaro became France’s single biggest theatrical success of the 18th
Of the Beaumarchais Figaro trilogy of plays, The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro live on both in their own right and through the operas that mark cornerstones of the repertory, while the third play, The Guilty Mother, has provided the foundation for a fascinating, challenging 20th-century work. The enduring character of the wily Figaro, and the other personalities drawn into his orbit by Beaumarchais, have appealed to numerous composers beyond the untouchable Rossini and Mozart. Yet in those two supreme musical examples, the works largely retain their original qualities of wit, spirit and humanity, attesting to their dramaturgical strength and continual theatricality.
Dissenters and Rebels
Who are the Dissenters and Rebels of opera? In celebration of our 2018/19 Season, we took a tour through opera history to find seven examples that upended societal expectations, charted their own course, or inspired others to imagine the world anew.
THE BARBER OF SEVILLE Reviews are In!
“It skimps on neither singing nor slapstick nor staircase chases… Come prepared to laugh”
-The Boston Globe
“If the buzz and laughter of the sold-out house on Friday night was any indication, this opera buffa has at least another couple of centuries of life in it.”
-The Boston Musical Intelligencer
“This is a great introduction to the legitimate world of opera for those who have toyed with the idea, as it is truly accessible for all.”
“See this BARBER for the lovely voices and the ingenious flourishes, both vocal and dramatic.”
-Boston Arts Review
“The best demonstration of Italian opera I have seen in a long time.”
“Making her company debut, Mack’s Rosina was a compelling, noble force of nature. Her tone was supple and technical command excellent”
-Boston Classical Review
“Hilarious! A total entertainment gem!”
-Boston and Beyond
“Witty, cheerful and graceful!”
– Krugozor Magazine
For press images, please visit the
Barber of Seville Media Kit
Audiences love The Barber of Seville!
Don’t miss this whimsical production OCT 12, 14, 17, 19 or 21.
This language is music to our ears! Stage director and Italian native Rosetta Cucchi preps The Barber of Seville cast and teaches us how to use Italian at the opera.
No One Dies!
Playful energy, incredible singing, and NO ONE DIES! The cast of Barber of Seville share what they’re most excited about.
FIGARO FIGARO FIIIIIIIIIIIIGARO! The cast is certain you’ll recognize the music of BARBER OF SEVILLE.