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The Barber of Seville in the Arena

Barber of Seville in Arena Verona

I am not an Opera expert, but this year I've been to see the Barber of Seville in the Arena, for sure one of the most "funny" Operas on the program of the Opera season that every year take place in Verona during the summer. I write here below the plot of the show.



Scenography of Barber of Seville

Count Almaviva, in love with Rosina and she is also the secret object of Dr Bartolo’s desires who guards his ward with a jealous possessiveness. Count Almaviva, after a few efforts is about to give up when Figaro (the barber of Seville) arrives. He numbers Bartolo among his many clients, for whom he (Figaro) is a Jack-of-all-trades and a regular visitor to the house. Almaviva asks him to be helped and Figaro agrees.
The count, at first, pretend to be a poor but sincere student, “Lindoro” and declares his love to Rosina, that seems to requite. Almaviva would like to go to the house to meet Rosina face-to-face, but Figaro restrains Almaviva, counselling him, rather, to present himself to the family in disguise, pretending to be a soldier who is to be billeted in their household, in fact, during the time of the scene there is a regiment of soldier stationed in city. In order that their stratagem should be as plausible as possible, Figaro even suggests that Almaviva should appear to be drunk.

Later, Dr Bartolo tells to Don Basilio, Rosina's music teacher, of his decision to marry her as soon as possible, but don't Basilio allarms him about a new threat. Count Almaviva, whose affection for Rosina is known, has been seen in the city, so they decide that the only way to face this threat is to destroy Almaviva’s reputation by slander and than they agree that Dr. Bartolo must merry Rosina. At this point the plan of Figaro and Almaviva takes place and Almaviva, that now wears the soldier's uniform and is pretending to be drunk, reveals to Rosina that he is “Lindoro” and passes her a letter. Bartolo sees the letter change hands, but Rosina manages to substitute it with a washing list, prevent him from reading the contents. Finally, soldiers arrive at the door, wanting to know the reason for the uproar in the house and they recognize Almaviva despite his uniform and conduct him away.

Despite this failed plan they don't want to give up, so they (Figaro and Almaviva) decide to try another disguise. Figaro, goes to Dr Bartolo's home accompanied by a certain “Don Alonso” (Almaviva) – ostensibly a master of music – who is standing in for Don Basilio, on account of the latter’s supposed “ill-health”.  His impersonation of the “teacher” doesn't entirely convince the doctor, but thanks to Figaro, he doesn't notice what is happening around him because the barber starts to shave him. When Rosina arrives, “Don Alonso” starts to give her a singing lesson and reveals his true identity asking to Rosina to escape from the balcony where he and Figaro had put a stair.

At the crucial point, Don Basilio arrives, but thanks to Almaviva’s charm (and a gift of money) agrees to remain “unwell” and not to inform Bartolo. Figaro notices the arrival of the notary who is due to undertake the formalities of Bartolo’s wedding with Rosina, but Figaro is quick to manipulate the situation to the lovers’advantage. Rosina and Almaviva present themselves as the bride and groom, while Bartolo arrives to late to prevent their marriage.


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