TSCHAIKOWSKI / Koenigs / Manistina, Mantashyan, Sushkova, Pinkhasovich, Volkov01,03,06 & 09 March 2024
- Vienna State Opera
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In front of Dr. Bartolo’s house. count Almaviva has hired some musicians to serenade his beloved Rosina, Dr. Bartolo’s niece. But Rosina fails to appear at her window so the count can only pay off the musicians and send them home. Presently the count encounters Figaro, the local barber and general factotum. Recognising the barber as having formerly been in his employment the count tells him of his passion for Rosina and by promises of a rich reward secures Figaro’s valuable services. Figaro has a brilliant idea to introduce the count into Bartolo’s house: rooms in Seville are being requisitioned for the army so all the count has to do is to dress up as a soldier and claim accommodation. In her room Rosina is writing a letter to the young cavalier, apparently called Lindoro, who is so ardently wooing her; Figaro agrees to deliver it but is prevented by the sudden arrival of Dr. Bartolo and Rosina’s music-master Basilio. Bartolo, who is also Rosina’s guardian, admits to Basilio that he has hopes of making her his wife as well as his ward. Meanwhile Figaro’s plan is put into action: Almaviva enters disguised as a drunken soldier, creates a scene, and obstreperously demands a night’s lodging, managing to exchange a furtive word or two with Rosina during the commotion. Dr. Bartolo calls the police to have him thrown out, whereupon the intruder reveals his identity and the Act ends in complete confusion.
A young music-teacher reports at Dr. Bartolo’s house saying he has been sent by Basilio who is ill, to give Rosina her singing lesson. It is of course Almaviva in disguise. But Doctor Bartolo smells a rat and insists on being present at the “singing lesson”. To distract Bartolo’s attention Figaro forcibly shaves him while keeping up a running fire of conversation under cover of which Rosina and Almaviva plan an elopement. All is going smoothly when unfortunately Basilio turns up, and it is all Figaro’s powers of persuasion and the count’s purse can do to hustle him off the premises before he has time to give the whole scheme away. Eventually however Bartolo does find out about the planned elopement, so after poisoning Rosina’s mind against her suitor he presses his own suit more urgently than ever; and Rosina, to spite her lover’s apparent inconstancy,agrees to marry Bartolo. Bartolo instructs his lawyer to bring the necessary documents for his marriage to Rosina, and goes to alert the police to arrest “Lindoro” as soon as he attemps to abduct Rosina. But the elements are on Almaviva’s side. Under cover of a thunderstorm, and conducted by Figaro, he makes his way into Bartolo’s house and reveals to Rosina that “Lindoro” and Almaviva are one and the same person. The lawyer Basilio sent for arrives in time to effect the marriage of Rosina and Almaviva, and by the time Dr. Bartolo returns from the police, all he can do is accept the situation with good grace.