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Barber of Seville Premieres at Mariinsky II This Week
On Wednesday and Thursday, October 29 and 30, the Mariinsky-II will present the premiere of a new production of Gioachino Rossini’s opera Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), staged by Alain Maratrat, the theater’s website reports. The tone of attitudes to Rossini in Russia was very precisely defined by Pushkin in his novel Eugene Onegin: “the ravishing Rossini, spoilt child of Europe, Orpheus,” whose music is “like young lovers’ kisses, always so gentle, yet incandescent; or like the hissing streams and golden spray of champagne...” This tone has remained unchanged for almost two centuries now.
Pushkin first discovered Rossini’s operas when performed by the Italian Company in 1823. It was the re in 1821 that the Russian premiere of the opera Il barbiere di Siviglia took place, soon afterwards in early 1822 being performed by the Italian Company in St Petersburg, while at the end of the year the opera was translated into Russian and staged at the Imperial Bolshoi (Stone) Theater on Theater Square.
Il barbiere di Siviglia is Rossini’s most popular opera, although he composed over forty othe rs. This operatic masterpiece based on Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais’ comedy Le Barbier de Séville, ou la Précaution inutile was written by Rossini at a time when he had already composed sixteen operas by the age of twenty-four. In a record short time just over two weeks the opera was ready for the annual carnival in Rome. The unsuccessful premiere on 20 February 1816 had no effect whatsoever on its subsequent dazzling stage history.
Stage director Alain Maratrat sees the love story in de Beaumarchais’ comic plot as contemporary: “I am telling the audience a story from life that is close to the m. That’s why you have to include the element of the miracle after all, today we really need hopes and dreams. I want to tell an unusual story in order to talk about everyday things.” The production promises to be a dazzling and enchanting one, with magnificent costumes and imaginative headwear. The stage director is also preparing some surprises for the audience, as he is deeply convinced that “people love being part of the on-stage action. And I always try to stage a production so that it is an event, a celebration for the audience.”
Russkiy Mir Foundation Information Service