Gioachino Rossini

Il Barbiere di Siviglia



Rossini’s effervescent comedy retakes the stage in Bartlett Sher’s madcap production. Mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina headlines a winning ensemble as the feisty heroine, Rosina, alongside high-flying tenor Jack Swanson, in his Met debut, as her secret beloved, Count Almaviva. Baritone Andrey Zhilikhovsky stars as Figaro, the titular barber of Seville, with bass-baritone Peter Kálmán as Dr. Bartolo and bass Alexander Vinogradov as Don Basilio rounding out the principal cast. Giacomo Sagripanti conducts. This live cinema transmission is part of the Met’s award-winning Live in HD series, bringing opera to movie theaters across the globe.

English StreamText captioning is available for the Met’s transmission of Il Barbiere di Siviglia here. A transcript of the transmission will also be available to view after the live performance.

Buy tickets for Il Barbiere di Siviglia live in the opera house here.

Production a gift of The Sybil B. Harrington Endowment Fund

Revival a gift of The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation

Il Barbiere di Siviglia

World premiere: Teatro Argentina, Rome, 1816. 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. Its buoyant good humor and elegant melodies have delighted the diverse tastes of every generation for two centuries, and several of the opera’s most recognizable tunes have entered the world’s musical unconscious, most notably the introductory patter song of the swaggering Figaro, the titular barber of Seville.


Gioachino Rossini (1792–1868) was the world’s foremost opera composer in his day. Over the course of just two decades, he created more than 30 works, both comic and tragic, before retiring from opera composition at the age of 37. Cesare Sterbini (1784–1831) was an official of the Vatican treasury and a poet whose literary fame rests squarely on Barbiere. Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732–99) was the author of the three subversive Figaro plays, of which Le Barbier de Séville (1775) was the first.


Bartlett Sher


Michael Yeargan


Catherine Zuber


Christopher Akerlind

Headshot of Gioachino Rossini


Gioachino Rossini


Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Seville is both a beautiful city and something of a mythical Neverland for dramatists and opera composers. The Don Juan legend has its origins in Seville, and some of the steamiest operas (such as Bizet’s Carmen) make their home in this most beguiling of cities. Beaumarchais’s play was revolutionary: Set “in the present day,” which meant just before the French Revolution, the work unveiled the hypocrisies of powerful people and the sneaky methods that workers devise to deal with them.


The paradox of Rossini’s music is that the comedy can soar only with disciplined mastery of vocal technique. The singers must be capable of long vocal lines of attention-holding beauty as well as the rapid runs of coloratura singing. The score features solos of astounding speed in comic, tongue-twisting patter forms, especially the title role’s well-known Act I showstopper, “Largo al factotum.” Beyond the brilliant solos, the singers must blend well with one another in the complex ensembles that occur throughout the opera.

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