By Gioachino Rossini
Saturday, July 14 2012 at 7pm and Sunday July 15 2012 at 3pm; Hempstead House, Sands Point Long Island
It is evening in Seville and Count Almaviva, masquerading as “Lindoro,” a poor lovelorn student, hires a band of musicians to serenade the beautiful Rosina (“Ecco ridente in cielo”). When Rosina does not respond to his song, Almaviva knows that yet again Dr. Bartolo, Rosina’s elderly ward, has kept her locked inside. Figaro, the local barber and employee of Dr. Bartolo, enters and boasts about his life and knowledge of everything that goes on in Seville (“Largo al factotum”). Figaro offers to help Almaviva win over Rosina, for a reward, just as Bartolo leaves his home to arrange his own marriage to Rosina.
Finally, alone in Bartolo’s house, Rosina reflects upon the voice that has moved her and resolves to outsmart Bartolo (“Una voce poco fa”). Not knowing that Lindoro is actually the wealthy Count Almaviva, Rosina sits down to write the lovelorn student. As she leaves, Bartolo enters with Basilio, the music teacher. Bartolo tells Basilio that he is suspicious of Almaviva’s intentions regarding Rosina and Basilio advises starting false rumours about the Count (“La calunnia è un venticello”). Figaro, however, overhears the two plotting to ruin the Count’s reputation.
When the two men have gone, Figaro and Rosina enter. Figaro warns Rosina of Bartolo’s plan to marry her and promises to deliver the note she has written to “Lindoro.” He exits and Bartolo boasts to Rosina that he is way too clever to be fooled (“A un dottor della mia sorte”). On her way to do errands, Berta, Dr. Bartolo’s housekeeper, is met by Almaviva, now disguised as a drunken soldier. Scared of the drunkard, Berta runs back into the house for protection. Almaviva follows, creating a distraction for Bartolo. He then whispers to Rosina that he is Lindoro while passing her a letter. Bartolo sees the paper, and demands it from Rosina. Thinking quickly on her feet, she produces her laundry list and hides “Lindoro’s” note. As Bartolo and Almaviva erupt into an argument, they are overheard by the Officer of the Watch and his men. They come to arrest Almaviva, but he whispers his real name and is released right away. Bartolo, Basilio, Berta and Rosina are all astounded and finish Act 1 (“ Fredda ed immobile, comme una statua”).
Home of Dr. Bartolo
Yet again, Almaviva appears at Bartolo’s home in disguise. This time, he is pretending to be a substitute singing teacher, “Don Alonso,” in place of the ailing Basilio. Bartolo is suspicious until Almaviva gives him Rosina’s letter to “Lindoro.” Rosina recognizes “Lindoro,” and Bartolo naps in the chair nearby. Plans seem to be running smoothly until Basilio arrives looking quite healthy. The Count immediately brides Basilio who then feigns illness and quickly leaves. Figaro arrives to shave Bartolo and while the two lovers plan their elopement, Figaro manages to steal the key to the balcony window for Almaviva. Unfortunately, Bartolo overhears the plan and throws out both Figaro and “Don Alonso.” He then shows Rosina the letter that she wrote to “Lindoro,” and tries to convince her that Lindoro is just a servant of Almaviva’s and not worth her time.
A thunder storm approaches overhead while the Count and Figaro enter Rosina’s room through the balcony. At first Rosina rejects the Count, still known to her as “Lindoro,” as she feels hurt and deceived. He then explains that he and Lindoro are the same person and Rosina sighs faling into his embrace. Figaro advises that they all leave immediately just as Bartolo comes upon the ladder and removes it, trapping the three inside. Basilio arrives with a notary, originally summoned for the purposes of marrying Rosina and Bartolo, but is convinced (gun shot to the head or be the witness to the marriage) to stay for the marriage of Rosina and Almaviva. Bartolo arrives too late. The marriage has already taken place. The Count, feeling generous, allows Bartolo to keep Rosina’s dowry and everyone agrees to a happy ending.