On Monday 13th August at 8.00 p.m. the XXXIX edition of the Rossini Opera Festival presents the first night of Il barbiere di Siviglia, Gioachino Rossini’s most famous opera. A comedy in two acts to a libretto by Cesare Sterbini, it was performed for the first time at the Teatro Argentina, Rome, on the 20th February 1816. The plot was taken from the celebrated play Le barbier de Séville ou La précaution inutile by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1775).
The third new production by the ROF 2018, Il barbiere di Siviglia will be staged on the 13th, 16th, 19th and 22nd August at 8.00 p.m. at the Adriatic Arena, conducted by Yves Abel with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI and the Chorus of the Teatro Ventidio Basso, produced by Pier Luigi Pizzi in collaboration with Massimo Gasparon. The cast consists of Maxim Mironov, Pietro Spagnoli, Aya Wakizono, Davide Luciano, Michele Pertusi, Elena Zilio and William Corrò.
The stage director Pier Luigi Pizzi has this to say about the production: “It seems incredible. In all my very long career I have staged almost all of Rossini’s operas, but never Il barbiere di Siviglia. In my early days I designed scenery and costumes for this opera in Rome and at La Fenice. At last the moment has arrived to undertake this highly popular masterpiece, which has undergone every possible interpretation all over the world. I am accepting this challenge with the knowledge born of so much musing over so many years, of so many productions planned and never realized, of so many hypothetical keys of interpretation. Today I am setting off with the firm conviction that we are not faced with a farce but a comedy of intrigue, and so I have chosen to start from the literary source, that is, Beaumarchais, whose idea of liberty and equality among the social classes, together with an illuminist vision of history and a trust in reason, represents the unstoppable progress of mankind. A comedy of strong colouring, not of puppets. Rossini makes everything plain and logical through the inspired filter of his irony.”
The first night of Il barbiere di Siviglia will be broadcast live by RaiRadioTre and in direct streaming on the Rai’s website on the 13th August at 8.00 p.m.