Watch Sunday, March 29, 2015 at noon on WMHT TV.
The Met's effervescent production of Rossini's classic comedy Il Barbiere di Siviglia —featuring some of the most instantly recognizable melodies in all of opera—returns to Great Performances at the Met with a dynamic young cast including Lawrence Brownlee as the lovestruck Count Almaviva; Isabel Leonard as Rosina, the feisty ward who captures his heart; and Christopher Maltman in his first Met performances of Figaro, the title barber whose skills extend far beyond hair-cutting.
In an acclaimed staging by Bartlett Sher, Il Barbiere di Siviglia also stars Maurizio Muraro as Dr. Bartolo and Paata Burchuladze as Don Basilio, with rising conductor Michele Mariotti on the podium.
Soprano Deborah Voigt hosts the broadcast.
The New York Times noted “Rossini's effervescent music, an energetic cast and Michael Yeargan’s spinning set” and found Leonard to be “a winsome, spunky Rosina.” And the Huffington Post observed, “Alternately coquettish and cunning, she has a smile that could twist any man around her finger.”
Il Barbiere di Siviglia was originally seen live in movie theaters on November 22 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 2,000 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 69 countries around the world.
Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, like Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, also sources from Beaumarchais’s Figaro Trilogy of plays — Barbiere being the prequel to Mozart’s opera. The two operas share common characters: the Barber Figaro of Rossini’s title will be the one married in Mozart's opera; Rossini's feisty Rosina will become the long-suffering countess of Mozart’s opera; and the romantic Count Almaviva of Rossini’s opera will become Mozart’s jealous Count.