The Metropolitan Opera HD Live: Season 1, Episode 5

Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia (8 Jun. 2008)

TV Episode  -  Music
8.9
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 25 users  
Reviews: 2 user

Rossini's sparkling comedy is given a new shine here under the direction of Broadway director Bartlett Sher. Count Almaviva is smitten by the feisty Rosina, but she is kept under lock and key by Dr. Bartolo. Send for Figaro to help.

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Title: Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia (08 Jun 2008)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Joyce DiDonato ...
Rosina - a welthy young lady from Seville
Juan Diego Flórez ...
Count Almaviva - alias 'Lindoro'
Peter Mattei ...
Figaro - a barber and man-about-town
John Del Carlo ...
Dr. Bartolo - Rosina's guardian and would-be suitor
John Relyea ...
Don Basilio, a music teacher and Dr. Bartolo's accomplice
Brian Davis ...
Fiorello - the count's hired servant
Mark Schowalter ...
An officer of the law
Rob Besserer ...
Ambrogio - Dr. Bartolo's very quiet servant
Maurizio Benini ...
Himself - Conducted by
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Herself - Introduction
Peter Gelb ...
Himself - Intermission inteveiwer
Mary Jo Heath ...
Herself - Intermission inteveiwer
Metropolitan Opera Chorus ...
Servants / Partiy guest
Robert Morrison ...
Recitative Accompanist
Bartlett Sher ...
Himself - Production by
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Storyline

Rossini's sparkling comedy is given a new shine here under the direction of Broadway director Bartlett Sher. Count Almaviva is smitten by the feisty Rosina, but she is kept under lock and key by Dr. Bartolo. Send for Figaro to help.

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Music

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Release Date:

8 June 2008 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
Lots of fun with the Barber of Seville
6 October 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I love opera, and I love Rossini's Barber of Seville. I have heard several deem it as Rossini's masterpiece, and I have to say I agree, though William Tell comes extremely close. This production is not the best Barbiere. My favourites are the 1973 Ponnelle film, the 1959 performance, the 1989 production and the 2005 Madrid production, though the Quillico and Bartoli 1988 production is worth a look too.

That's not to say at all that this Met production is not good, in fact it is a lot of fun like Il Barbiere Di Siviglia should be. The sets and costumes are traditional and very pleasant on the eyes, which you would expect from the Met. The comedy is done in a very entertaining fashion, without it feeling contrived or annoying. The picture quality, camera work and sound are excellent.

Musically Il Barbiere Di Siviglia is hard to fault. The whole opera is a choc-a-block of lively and memorable tunes, and the orchestra and conducting do full justice. When it comes to staging, Florez's tour-De-force, Largo Al Factotum and Una Voca Poca Fa are the most effective. The end of act 1 is entertaining if slightly cluttered.

In regards to the singing and acting, everybody looks natural and sing wonderfully. As entertaining and youthful as Peter Mattei's Figaro is, as amusing and grotesque as John Del Carlo's Bartolo is and as resonant and menacing as John Relyea's Basilio is, they are no match for Juan Diego Florez as Almaviva and Joyce DiDonato as Rosina. Di Donato is very charming and likable, and shows off her warm voice and excellent technique really well. Florez is just sensational, especially in his act 2 aria tour-De-force where his effortless high notes and nimble runs and ornamentations are on full display.

All in all, a lot of fun. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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