Houston Grand Opera broadcasts return to classical 90.5 at noon this Saturday, October 27, with a performance of The Barber of Seville or The Futile Precaution, an opera buffa by Gioachino Rossini with a libretto by Cesare Sterbini. The libretto was based on Pierre Beaumarchais's comedy Le Barbier de Séville of 1775, which was originally an opéra comique, or a mixture of spoken play with music. The première (under the title Almaviva, or the Futile Precaution) took place on February 20, 1816, at the Teatro Argentina in Rome where it was roundly booed by the audience. Most recetn audionces have been mush kinder and The Barber of Seville now maintains its secure spot in the repertoire. Houston Grand Opera's performance will be sung in Italian and will run approximately two hours and thirty minutes.
In the story of The Barber of Seville, opera's notorious barber schemes to help the beautiful young Rosina escape the clutches of her elderly guardian and find true love. Rossini's score is punctuated with brilliant ensembles and some of opera's most familiar arias, including the famous "Largo al factotum," otherwise known as "Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!" Leonardo Vordoni conducts.