The Met’s effervescent production of Rossini’s classic comedy Il Barbiere di Siviglia — featuring some of the most instantly recognizable melodies in all of opera — returns to Great Performances at the Met on Sunday, March 22 at 12 p.m. (check local listings; In New York THIRTEEN will air the three-hour broadcast at 12:30 p.m.).
The dynamic young cast includes Lawrence Brownlee as the lovestruck Count Almaviva; Isabel Leonard as Rosina, the feisty ward who captures his heart; and Christopher Maltman in his first Met performances of Figaro, the title barber whose skills extend far beyond hair-cutting.
Synopsis of the opera.
In an acclaimed staging by Bartlett Sher, Il Barbiere di Siviglia also stars Maurizio Muraro as Dr. Bartolo and Paata Burchuladze as Don Basilio, with rising conductor Michele Mariotti on the podium.
Soprano Deborah Voigt hosts the broadcast.
The New York Times noted “Rossini’s effervescent music, an energetic cast and Michael Yeargan’s spinning set” and found Leonard to be “a winsome, spunky Rosina.” And the Huffington Post observed, “Alternately coquettish and cunning, she has a smile that could twist any man around her finger.”
Il Barbiere di Siviglia was originally seen live in movie theaters on November 22 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 2,000 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 69 countries around the world.
Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, like Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, also sources from Beaumarchais’s Figaro Trilogy of plays — Barbiere being the prequel to Mozart’s opera. The two operas share common characters: the Barber Figaro of Rossini’s title will be the one married in Mozart’s opera; Rossini’s feisty Rosina will become the long-suffering countess of Mozart’s opera; and the romantic Count Almaviva of Rossini’s opera will become Mozart’s jealous Count.
Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers.
Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®. Major funding for the Met Opera presentation is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. This Great Performances presentation is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, and public television viewers.
For the Met, Matthew Diamond directs the telecast. Jay David Saks is Music Producer, Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.
As New York’s flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore App where users can stream PBS content for free.
About the Met
Under the leadership of General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine, the Met has a series of bold initiatives underway that are designed to broaden its audience and revitalize the company’s repertory. The Met’s 2014-15 season features five new productions shown Live in HD, including Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, conducted by James Levine and directed by Richard Eyre; Lehár’s The Merry Widow, conducted by Andrew Davis and directed by Tony Award-winner Susan Stroman; Rossini’s La Donna del Lago, conducted by Michele Mariotti and directed by Paul Curran; Tchaikovsky’s one-act opera Iolanta presented in a double bill with a new staging of Bartók’s one-act Bluebeard’s Castle, conducted by Valery Gergiev and directed by Mariusz Treliński; and Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, led by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi and directed by David McVicar.
Building on its 84-year-old radio broadcast history—heard over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network—the Met uses advanced media distribution platforms and state-of-the-art technology to reach audiences around the world. The Met: Live in HD, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series of live performance transmissions to movie theaters around the world, returns for its ninth season in 2014-15 with ten live transmissions. Met Opera on Demand, a subscription service, makes selections from the company’s extensive video and audio catalog of full-length performances available to the public online in exceptional, state-of-the-art quality. Metropolitan Opera Radio on Sirius XM broadcasts live performances from the Met stage three times a week during the opera season and the Met offers free live audio streaming of performances on its website once a week during the opera season.