The comic opera »The Barber of Seville« by Gioachino Rossini, which premiered in 1816, carries the subtitle »The Useless Precaution«, and that’s precisely what it’s all about. Avaricious old Dottore Bartolo tries to keep his ward Rosina at home in order to marry her himself to gain the rich dowry. But his plotting is in vain: In various disguises, and with the help of the barber Figaro, the young and much more desirable Count Almaviva melts the young woman’s heart. »The Barber of Seville« is Rossini’s most popular opera due to its virtuoso arias and fast-paced ensembles, false identities and chicanery.
The Semperoper’s shortened and semi-staged version features the most popular arias and ensemble numbers, including Figaro’s famous opening aria »Largo al factotum«, Rosina’s mischievous and frank »Una voce poco fa«, Basilio’s hymn to the power of slander »La calunnia è un venticello« and the wonderful »Temporale«. As host, Volker Zack will lead through the evening and he will probably come up with some enlightening comments on the turbulent plot.