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24 November 2021 (Wed), 19:00 Brilliant Classical Stanislavsky Ballet and Opera theatre (established 1887, founded by Stanislavsky) - Opera "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" G. Rossini

Running time: 3 hours (till 22:00)

Schedule for "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" G. Rossini 2022

Composer: Gioacchino Rossini
Light Designer: Damir Ismagilov
Designer: Vladimir Arefiev

Orchestra: Stanislavsky theatre symphony orchestra
Opera company: Stanislavsky opera

Opera in 2 acts

Premiere of this production: 11 February 2010

The action of “The Barber of Seville” is matter where and when indeed. In Beaumarchais’ stage directions one reads ”old Spanish costumes”, Rossini moved the action to the 18th century which was not old but rather contemporary for the writer. One of the famous productions went as far as to show Beaumarchais and Rossini’s characters as Turkish or Arabs. Though Italy is very kindred to this story. It is an immense pleasure to watch this pointless but full of true human stories narrative evolving in an ambiance of jauntily dressed silent passers-by, neighbours chewing their pasta, a whole herd of rare motorbikes and worn-out furniture that would fit quite well into one’s parents’ apartment. The classical Spanish story is not set in sunny jolly festal Spain but in snow-covered Italy from "Euronews" and Italian neo-realistic films, and now and then Soviet history shines through lovingly, mildly with a slight nostalgia

Composer Gioachino Rossini

Libretto by Cesare Sterbini

Musical Director and Conductor Wolf Gorelik

Stage Director Alexander Titel

Set Design Vladimir Arefiev

Lighting Damir Ismagilov

Genre Opera buffa

Number of acts 2

Language Italian

Premiere February 11, 2010

Rossini’s composed "Il barbiere di Siviglia" in a very short space of time: it was necessary to finish it by the beginning of a winter carnival in 1816. To avoid annoying the famous composer Giovanni Paisiello, whose opera "Il barbiere di Siviglia" had been already performed on Italian boards, Rossini named his work "Almaviva, or the Useless Precaution", but several years later Rossini’s masterpiece replaced its rival and entered the history of music as the only opera named "Il barbiere di Siviglia".

One of the secrets of eternal youth of "Il barbiere di Siviglia" is a powerful tradition of Itaian commedia dell’arte. The plot is quite unpretentious: young people would like to marry against either their old fathers’ or a tutors’ will. Servants are the main characters in commedia dell’arte, they usually help the lovers, being crafty, quick-witted, not missing a chance to fool the masters to their own profit.

The outline is wrapped with improvisation. The soloists are free to improvise in cadences and nobody knows beforehand, which aria Rosina is going to sing at her vocal lesson. The generation gap, which is so important for commedia dell’arte, reaches its point here: Bartolo’s old-fashioned arietta is contrasted with contemporary Rosina’s part. For example, Polina Viardo, who debuted as Rosina in Saint-Petersburg in 1843, performed Glinka’s romances.

Action of "Il barbiere di Siviglia" takes place in Spain, but you won’t hear any Spanish tunes. However, there is a visible "Russian scent". Rossini was a frequent visitor to the houses of Russian aristocrats, who spent their winters in Rome, and he heard Russian folk songs there. A couple of them got to the score of his opera.

It happened so that it is the first time when People’s Artist of Russia Dmitry Bertman, who staged more than 70 productions all over the world, addressed to "Il barbiere di Siviglia". Comic opera is a very complicated genre. To create an atmosphere of a real theatrical game, sparkling with new energy and infectious laughter, the director has to have an exceptional sense of humour and rich fantasy. Dmitry Bertman seems to have both. The number of director’s fancies in "Helikon’s" performance impresses one’s mind. The characters are weaving intrigues both in figurative and literal (from ropes) ways. One of the female characters turns out to be... Russian. Out of Figaro Dmitry Bertman has made a.... Well, it is a secret yet.



First scene

Following a beautiful unknown girl, whom he accidentally had met in Madrid, the Count Almaviva arrived in Seville under a name of Lindoro. His servant Fiorello managed to find out the girl’s address. To entice Rosina from the house the Count sings her a serenade at night, but all his efforts are in vain… The Count pays off musicians.

The barber Figaro recently moved in Siviglia, enjoying wide popularity here. By chance he is brought together with his former master – Almaviva. Fortunately to the Barber the Count, as it turned out, is in love with Dr. Bartolo’s ward – Rosina, and in this situation a person who can enter Doctor’s house may be extremely useful!

Meanwhile Bartolo is away for a short while. A new serenade by “Lindoro” turns out to be more successful than the first one. The Count demands from Figaro to bring him in to Bartolo’s house. To this the Barber suggests him to pretend to be a drunken soldier. After that he gives a long and confused explanation about his address in Seville, but without success, as it seems. Sums, promised by the Count for his service, makes Figaro to give himself up to rosy dreams…

Second scene

Rosina is ready to run away with a splendid “Lindoro”, but how to do that? To write a letter! Figaro, as usual, comes to offer his services to Rosina, but she has no time to say a word about the letter as he disappears, hearing Doctor’s steps.

Bartolo suspects that Figaro has come on purpose. He has heard that his ward is noticed by the Count Almaviva and intends without delay to make Rosina his wife tonight. A patient, that has come to him, a military musician Don Basilio, works up a strategy of the battle: first, to defame an enemy spitefully, second, immediately to make a marriage contract between Rosina and Bartolo. Their conversation is overheard by Figaro: the girl should hurry up, if she does not like to marry her guardian! Rosina gives the letter to the Barber, but Dr Bartolo is already here and sets a trap to her, trying to catch her. The Count disguised as a drunken soldier bursts into the house and tries to hand a letter to Rosina. A fight begins between the Count and Bartolo. A noise draws attention of a military patrol. After hearing to confused explanations from all who are present, the Officer takes a decision to arrest the “soldier”. After a short talk with a perspective prisoner tкte­a­tкte, he changes his decision. Nobody understands anything.


First scene

The Count again penetrates Bartolo’s house under a new mask to find a way to Rosina’s heart. Disguised as Don Alonso, a faithful pupil of supposedly ill Don Basilio, he gives the girl a singing lesson. Rosina performs an aria from a popular opera “La Fille mal gardйe”. Old Bartolo does not approve of modern music.

Figaro comes to shave the Doctor so that the lovers could talk without trouble. Suddenly Don Basilio comes… A sum of money helps to diagnose scarlatina with him and to suggest an idea to him to return home and receive medical treatment. Rosina is going to escape with Almaviva at midnight, but Bartolo again suspects of something and casts reproaches upon her. The servant Berta, who has got tired of strange quarrels and shouts, dreams about love…

Second scene

Dr. Bartolo and Don Basilio work up a plot: it’s necessary to convince Rosina, that Lindoro has another lover and he is an agent sent to kidnap the girl for the Count Almaviva. Rosina agrees to the immediate marriage to Bartolo. At midnight sharp the Count appears, but Rosina meets her “Lindoro” not the way that he has expected. To become reconciled with the girl Almaviva is forced to reveal his real name. The time for escape is missed; Basilio, the Notary and then Bartolo appear. Rosina’s kidnapping is cancelled. The Count has at once to marry lawfully in presence of all witnesses.

Schedule for "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" G. Rossini 2022

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