Despite being whistled on the first night, the most famous opera buffa of all time won undying fame for its composer, Gioachino Rossini. He wrote it in under two weeks, using materials from the overtures to two previous operas, a technique that often enabled him to work fast. It tells of the efforts of grumpy old Bartolo to keep Rosina away from all suitors except one: himself. Bartolo is the archetype of the old world battling against modernity, here embodied by Count Almaviva, assisted by Figaro, the barber. This version by Joan Font (of Comediants) uses devices from popular and street drama that are characteristic of that company's style. In the end love triumphs over everything and everyone, as in any opera buffa. The characters and plot created by Beaumarchais in 1775 are magnificently set off by the lively, sophisticated music. Il barbiere di Siviglia
Opera buffa in two acts. Libretto by Cesare Sterbini based on the comedy of the same title by Pierre-Augustin de Beaumarchais. Music by Gioachino Rossini. Premiered on 20 February 1816 at the Teatro Argentina in Rome. First staged at the Gran Teatre del Liceu on 18 September 1847. Last performance as part of the Liceu season on 30 June 1997 (at the Teatre Victoria).