World premiere: Teatro Argentina, Rome, 1816. Met Premiere: November 23, 1883. Rossini’s perfectly honed treasure survived a famously disastrous opening night (caused by factions and local politics more than any reaction to the work itself) to become what may be the world’s most popular comic opera. Several of its most recognizable melodies have entered the general musical unconscious, most notably the introductory patter song of the swaggering Figaro, the barber of the title. The opera offers superb opportunities for all the vocalists, exciting ensemble composition, and a natural flair for breezy comedy that has scarcely been equaled since.