|Role||11/12, 11/13, 11/17, 11/20, 11/22, 11/27|
|Figaro||Brian James Myer*/Matthew Hanscom**|
*11/12, 11/17, 11/20, 11/22
Casting subject to change without notice
Act I, Scene 1
During a visit to Seville, Count Almaviva has glimpsed a beautiful girl, Rosina, and has resolved to win her. Rosina, however, is kept a virtual prisoner in the house of her guardian, Dr. Bartolo, who wants to marry her himself. One night, Almaviva comes with a band of musicians to serenade his lady beneath her balcony (Ecco ridente in cielo, “There, laughing in the sky”). When she fails to answer his song, he pays off his accompanists, who thank him profusely. He hides as the barber Figaro bounds in, boasting of his busy life as a jack-of-all-trades (Largo al factotum della città, “Make way for the factotum of the city”). When Almaviva steps forward, Figaro recognizes him; the barber, currently in Bartolo’s employ, promises to help Almaviva win Rosina’s heart. No sooner has Bartolo hobbled from the house to arrange his marriage with Rosina than Almaviva launches into a second serenade to the girl, describing himself as Lindoro, a poor creature who can offer nothing but love (Se il mio nome saper voi bramante, “If my name you claim to know”). Peeking over the balcony, Rosina replies she will take him as he is, but suddenly someone pulls her inside. Figaro suggests that Almaviva disguise himself as a drunken soldier to gain access to the house; as Almaviva dwells on his love, the barber happily anticipates his own reward from the count (All’ida di quel metallo, “At the idea of that metal”).
Act I, Scene 2
Alone in the house, Rosina muses on Almaviva’s voice, which has touched her heart (Una voce poco fa, “A voice just now”). She resolves to oppose Bartolo by a thousand tricks so as to have her way. Figaro joins her briefly, but they scurry away on hearing footsteps. Bartolo enters, soon joined by the music master Basilio, who announces that Almaviva is a rival for Rosina’s hand and suggests slandering the count’s reputation (La calunnia è un venticello, “Calumny is a little breeze”). Bartolo agrees, but Figaro overhears the plot. Warning Rosina that Bartolo plans to marry her the following day, the barber promises to deliver a note she has written to Lindoro (Dunque io son…tu non m’inganni?, “Then I’m the one…you’re not fooling me?”). Rosina, left alone with Bartolo, is subjected to his suspicious interrogations and pompous boast that he is too clever to be outwitted by her ruses (A un dottor della mia sorte, “To a doctor of my class”). Berta, the maid, goes to the door in answer to violent knocking; she returns with Almaviva, who is disguised as a drunken soldier in search of a night’s lodging. During a long argument with Bartolo, whose name he pretends not to grasp, Almaviva gives a love letter to Rosina; when Bartolo demands to see the paper, the girl cleverly substitutes a laundry list. Figaro dashes in to warn that a crowd has gathered in the street, attracted by the hubbub within. He is too late; the police arrive to silence the disturbance. As the confused officer in charge is about to arrest Almaviva, the count shows his true identity and is released. Rosina, Berta, Bartolo, and Basilio are all stupefied by this turn of events (Fredda ed immobile, “Cold and unmoving”).
Pleased with himself for getting rid of Almaviva, Bartolo admits to the house a young music teacher, “Don Alonso” (Almaviva in a new disguise), who claims to be a substitute for the ailing Basilio. Rosina enters, and quickly recognizing her suitor, begins her singing lesson as Bartolo falls asleep in his chair. Figaro arrives to shave the doctor; when he goes to get his utensils in the next room, breaking several of Bartolo’s best pieces of china in the process, he steals the key to the balcony window. Basilio now comes in, looking the picture of health. Bribed by Almaviva, however, the music teacher feigns illness, and after an elaborate sendoff (Buona sera, mio signore, “Good evening, good Sir”), he departs. Figaro shaves Bartolo while Almaviva and Rosina plan their elopement that night. The lovers are overheard by the suspicious doctor, who drives Figaro and Almaviva from the house and Rosina to her room. He then sends a servant to fetch Basilio. Berta, unnerved by all the confusion, complains about the madness of love (Il vecchiotto cerca moglie, “The old fool seeks a wife”).
Bartolo dispatches Basilio to get a notary and then tricks Rosina into believing that “Lindoro” is really one of Almaviva’s flunkies. After a violent thunderstorm during which the room is deserted, the count climbs through a window with Figaro to abduct Rosina. At first the girl rebuffs her ‘Lindoro,’ but when he explains that Lindoro and Almaviva are one and the same, she falls joyously into his arms (Ah! qual colpo inaspettato!, “Ah, what unexpected bliss!). Figaro urges haste; before they can leave, however, their ladder is taken away. Suddenly, Basilio enters with the notary. Though summoned to wed Rosina and Bartolo, the official is instructed to marry her instead to Almaviva, who bribes Basilio. Rushing in too late, Bartolo finds his ward already married, and he admits he has been a fool; he is consoled, however, when the count gives him Rosina’s dowry. With the others, he agrees that “all’s well that ends well” (Amore e fede eterna, “Love and eternal faith”!
Introduction to Opera
At 6:30 before evening performances and at 1:30 before matinees, a free talk will be presented in the California Theatre that will acquaint you with the composer’s life, his place in the history of opera, the story and its characters. If you are attending the 1:30 or 6:30 Introduction, you must be ticketed for that day’s performance; and your ticket must be torn as you enter the building.
MLK Library Previews
A one-hour preview for each 2015-16 production is presented free of charge in the Beethoven Center, located on the 5th Floor of the Dr. MLK Library in San Jose (located at the corner of Fourth and San Fernando Streets). Moderated by GD Larry Hancock, the preview includes a lecture and performances by OSJ artists. Dates for previews are as follows:
- Lucia di Lammermoor: August 30, 2016
- The Barber of Seville: November 1, 2016
- Silent Night: January 31, 2017
- La bohème: April 4, 2017
All previews begin at 12 noon.
Opera at Your Doorstep Lecture Series
Increase your understanding of opera and enjoy upcoming Opera San José performances all the more by attending one of longtime OSJ subscriber Bradford Wade’s FREE previews. Dates/times for The Barber of Seville lecture talks are listed below. For more information about the Opera at Your Doorstep Lecture Series and/or to RSVP, email OperaAtYourDoorstep@gmail.com.
The Barber of Seville:
Tuesday, Nov. 1: 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Law Offices of Sheppard Mullin: 379 Lytton Avenue, Palo Alto
Monday, Nov. 7: 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Pat Miller’s Music School: 14107 Winchester Blvd, Los Gatos
Performances of The Barber of Seville are made possible, in part, by a generous gift from Jean Brandt, and by a grant from the City of San Jose’s Office of Cultural Affairs