Vienna State Opera tickets 13 June 2025 - Il Barbiere di Siviglia | GoComGo.com

Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Vienna State Opera, Vienna, Austria
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Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Vienna, Austria
Starts at: 19:00
Acts: 2
Intervals: 1
Duration: 3h 10min
Cast
Performers
Conductor: Marco Armiliato
Bass-Baritone: Bryn Terfel (Basilio)
Tenor: Edgardo Rocha (Count Almaviva)
Baritone: Marco Filippo Romano (Bartolo)
Mezzo-Soprano: Patricia Nolz (Rosina)
Baritone: Stefan Astakhov (Figaro)
Creators
Composer: Gioachino Rossini
Librettist: Cesare Sterbini
Director: Herbert Fritsch
Author: Pierre Beaumarchais
Overview

As spectacularly as Gioachino Rossini's "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" failed at its premiere in 1816, it was quick to materialise into a worldwide success for the ages, with many a musical number having meshed itself into popular culture even to the general public who has never stepped foot in an opera house.

The barber of Seville introduces himself as the “factotum of the whole city”: as a helper in all situations. Like all barbers of his time, he is not only responsible for head hair and beard care, but also for pulling teeth and bloodletting. In addition, Figaro's range of responsibilities includes services for lovers and those wanting to get married, such as transporting secret messages or organizing serenades.

Despite his self-promotion, Figaro's ideas prove to be of little use when he is supposed to help Count Almaviva win Rosina's hand. Rosina namely lives locked up with her guardian Bartolo, who wants to secure her fortune by marrying her himself. All of Figaro's plans for how Almaviva could get closer to his beloved fail – and for the audience – in the most amusing ways. Ultimately, money and power make the Count the winner in this fight, which is only a game for himself but bitterly serious for Bartolo.

Gioachino Rossini's opera was originally called Almaviva, o sia l’Inutile Precauzione (Almaviva or The Useless Precaution) – and the main character was Count Almaviva. However, the audience's adoration quickly focused on the extroverted barber. This contributed to the fact that the great aria of the Count’s "Cessa di più resistere" has often been cut because of its length and immense difficulty. In fact, it is not the barber's strategies which escalate again and again, but rather the nobility’s means to power that help his love to win.

The opera is based on the play of the same name by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, which premiered in 1775. He transformed the character types and plot elements of the Italian impromptu comedy, the Commedia dell’arte, first into an Opéra comique, then into a prose comedy that also included impressions of his journey to Spain. Later, the piece became the first part of Beaumarchais’ Figaro trilogy.

The opera also owes its enormous stage effectiveness to the libretto by Cesare Sterbini, who provided Gioachino Rossini with ideal music-making events, including one of his famous “crescendo rolls”: Bartolo's ally Basilio describes in his "Defamation Aria" in great detail the development of a rumor from a low whisper to the explosion in a “shitstorm!” And in the Finale of Act 1, the opera's text conjures up the image of a “hell forge” that the music delightfully depicts with the sound of hammers and anvils.

Short Summary
The Count of Almaviva is in love with Rosina, and Rosina loves the Count of Almaviva. So everything would be wonderful - if it weren't for Don Bartolo, Rosina's guardian, who won't let her out of the house or out of his sight. He wants to marry Rosina himself and can rely on the support of music teacher Don Basilio, who provides him with information about his rival. The Count's dedicated helper is the title character: Figaro, Barber of Seville and the Count's former servant. His many pieces of good advice result above all in stunningly funny stage scenes and at least do not prevent the two lovers from finding each other in the end.

History
Premiere of this production: 20 February 1816, Teatro Argentina, Rome

The Barber of Seville, or The Useless Precaution (Italian: Il barbiere di Siviglia, ossia L'inutile precauzione) is an opera buffa in two acts by Gioachino Rossini with an Italian libretto by Cesare Sterbini. The libretto was based on Pierre Beaumarchais's French comedy Le Barbier de Séville (1775). The première of Rossini's opera (under the title Almaviva, o sia L'inutile precauzione) took place on 20 February 1816 at the Teatro Argentina, Rome, with designs by Angelo Toselli.

Venue Info

Vienna State Opera - Vienna
Location   Opernring 2

The Vienna State Opera is one of the leading opera houses in the world. Its past is steeped in tradition. Its present is alive with richly varied performances and events. Each season, the schedule features 350 performances of more than 60 different operas and ballets. The members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from the Vienna State Opera's orchestra. The building is also the home of the Vienna State Ballet, and it hosts the annual Vienna Opera Ball during the carnival season.

The 1,709-seat Renaissance Revival venue was the first major building on the Vienna Ring Road. It was built from 1861 to 1869 following plans by August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll, and designs by Josef Hlávka. The opera house was inaugurated as the "Vienna Court Opera" (Wiener Hofoper) in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth of Austria. It became known by its current name after the establishment of the First Austrian Republic in 1921. The Vienna State Opera is the successor of the Vienna Court Opera, the original construction site chosen and paid for by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1861.

The opera house was the first major building on the Vienna Ringstrasse commissioned by the Viennese "city expansion fund". Work commenced on the house in 1861 and was completed in 1869, following plans drawn up by architects August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll. It was built in the Neo-Renaissance style by the renowned Czech architect and contractor Josef Hlávka.

Gustav Mahler was one of the many conductors who have worked in Vienna. During his tenure (1897–1907), Mahler cultivated a new generation of singers, such as Anna Bahr-Mildenburg and Selma Kurz, and recruited a stage designer who replaced the lavish historical stage decors with sparse stage scenery corresponding to modernistic, Jugendstil tastes. Mahler also introduced the practice of dimming the lighting in the theatre during performances, which was initially not appreciated by the audience. However, Mahler's reforms were maintained by his successors.

Herbert von Karajan introduced the practice of performing operas exclusively in their original language instead of being translated into German. He also strengthened the ensemble and regular principal singers and introduced the policy of predominantly engaging guest singers. He began a collaboration with La Scala in Milan, in which both productions and orchestrations were shared. This created an opening for the prominent members of the Viennese ensemble to appear in Milan, especially to perform works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Richard Strauss.

Ballet companies merge

At the beginning of the 2005–2006 season, the ballet companies of the Staatsoper and the Vienna Volksoper were merged under the direction of Gyula Harangozó.

From the 2010–2011 season a new company was formed called Wiener Staatsballet, Vienna State Ballet, under the direction of former Paris Opera Ballet principal dancer Manuel Legris. Legris eliminated Harangozós's policy of presenting nothing but traditional narrative ballets with guest artists in the leading roles, concentrated on establishing a strong in-house ensemble and restored evenings of mixed bill programs, featuring works of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Jiří Kylián, William Forsythe, and many contemporary choreographers, as well as a reduced schedule of the classic ballets.

Opera ball

For many decades, the opera house has been the venue of the Vienna Opera Ball. It is an internationally renowned event, which takes place annually on the last Thursday in Fasching. Those in attendance often include visitors from around the world, especially prominent names in business and politics. The opera ball receives media coverage from a range of outlets.

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Vienna, Austria
Starts at: 19:00
Acts: 2
Intervals: 1
Duration: 3h 10min
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