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The Barber of Seville

Melbourne Recital Centre
12 Dec 2019 - 14 Dec 2019

The funniest night you can have at the opera


Prepare for an evening of huge laughs with Rossini’s most popular opera, which offers a delightful romp full of farcical frivolity.

Featuring some of opera’s most recognisable music, this madcap masterpiece is a paean to impertinence that will make you beam with joy and grin with delight.

Count Almaviva is hopelessly in love with the beautiful, young Rosina but first he must prise her from the clutches of her guardian, the lecherous Doctor Bartolo. Lucky for them, the flamboyant and cunning town barber Figaro has a few tricks up his sleeve.

One of Italy’s most renowned Rosinas, Chiara Amarù joins a stellar Australian cast including Brenton Spiteri, Warwick Fyfe and José Carbó in his signature role as Figaro.

Join us for this timeless work of comic genius and prodigious musical invention in Melbourne and Launceston, Tasmania.

Don’t miss Rossini at his best with this hilarious night at the opera.


Melbourne Recital Centre, Elisabeth Murdoch Hall

Thursday 12 December 2019, 7:30pm - SELLING FAST
Saturday 14 December 2019, 1:00pm - SELLING FAST

Running time is approximately 2 hours and 25 minutes, plus one interval

Sung in Italian with English surtitles

Patrons' Pre-show Drinks Thursday 12 December

Price reserve maps for this production can be found on our Venue Information page.

Story & Music

The story

Madly in love with Rosina, Count Almaviva disguises himself as a poor student to serenade her. But Rosina is locked away in her house by her guardian, Doctor Bartolo, who intends to marry her himself. Along comes Figaro, the local Jack-of-all-trades and busybody, with a plan to sneak Almaviva into Bartolo’s house in disguise. However, Bartolo discovers that his rival for Rosina’s affections is in town and speeds up his wedding plans. Chaos and silliness ensue, involving hidden identities, secret letters and a visit from the local constabulary. Can Almaviva outwit Bartolo and marry his love?

The music

Rossini’s music for The Barber of Seville is a sheer delight. Fizzing with musical jokes and infectious melodies, the lively and inventive score demonstrates Rossini’s mastery of large musical forms, quick-witted word-setting and ability to create remarkable characters through music. The ‘Rossini crescendo’ is evident throughout when the music increases in volume and tempo reflecting the increasingly crazy situations.

Along with the unmistakable Overture, the opera features back-to-back blistering arias and ensemble numbers including: Figaro’s dazzling ‘Largo al factotum’; Rosina’s coloratura aria ‘Una voce poco fa’; Almaviva's bel canto-style serenade ‘Ecco ridente in cielo’; and the frenzied confusion of the Act 1 Finale.


The Overture from The Barber of Seville. Extract from The Great Rossini Overtures, Ola Rudner conducts Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO), ABC Classics 2004.

Figaro's aria 'Largo al factotum' performed by José Carbó at Seattle Opera.

Cast & Creatives

Composer Gioachino Rossini
Librettist Cesare Sterbini
Conductor Richard Mills
Director Elizabeth Hill
Associate Director Laura Hansford
Lighting Designer Peter Darby


Count Almaviva Brenton Spiteri
Doctor Bartolo Warwick Fyfe
Rosina Chiara Amarù
Figaro José Carbó
Don Basilio Paolo Pecchioli
Fiorello Stephen Marsh
Berta Kathryn Radcliffe


Orchestra Victoria


Victorian Opera's 2019 production of The Barber of Seville. Photography: Nick Hanson.