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By Gioachino Rossini Libretto by Cesare Sterbini Based on Le Barbier de SĂŠville by Pierre Beaumarchais

H-E-B Performance Hall Tobin Center for the Performing Arts


The Barber of Seville | May 2017 Resource Guide

About OPERA San Antonio How it began OPERA San Antonio was founded in 2010 by Mel Weingart, Chairman and President of the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund with Tobias Picker as Artistic Director. Marie Barrett joined in 2012 as Director of Production, and Plato Karayanis joined as Interim General Director and CEO in April of 2013. The company’s first performance was in May, 2013, a gala called the Gala Concert of Stars. The gala featured Patricia Racette, Dolora Zajick, Jay Hunter Morris, Eric Owens, Lucas Meachem, Lisette Oropesa, Daniela Mack and Alek Shrader, in collaboration with the San Antonio Symphony under the direction of its music director, Sebastian Lang-Lessing. This was followed in January, 2014, by a collaborative costumed, semi-staged production of Rusalka with the San Antonio Symphony as part of their Dvořák Festival and starring Joyce El-Khoury, Brian Jagde, Alan Held, Christine Goerke and Kirstin Chávez. A crucial element of founding leaders’ mission is that the opera company maintains a strict sense of fiscal responsibility. In keeping with that, the company immediately made a collaborative arrangement with the San Antonio Symphony which allows the symphony players to work more and provides the opera company with an orchestra for numerous productions in the Tobin Center. Our mission OPERA San Antonio is committed to producing opera of uncompromising artistic quality and enriching the community through its education and outreach programs. Currently OPERA San Antonio’s third season concludes with Il barbiere di Siviglia (or The Barber of Seville). Looking ahead, our fourth season features fully staged productions of Verdi’s Macbeth and Puccini’s La Bohème, both of which will take place in the H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center for Performing Arts. On the horizon With a growing staff and another stunning season, OPERA San Antonio remains committed to its values and to fiscal responsibility. The company will continue to create and promote educational programs that encourage the community to venture out and experience the arts.

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Table of Contents Opera 101 .............................................................................................................................................................. 4 The Production Team............................................................................................................................................. 7 The Cast of The Barber of Seville ............................................................................................................................ 9 About the Composer: Gioachino Rossini .............................................................................................................. 10 About the Dramatist: Pierre Beaumarchais.......................................................................................................... 11 About the Librettist: Cesare Sterbini .................................................................................................................... 12 About The Barber of Seville ................................................................................................................................. 13 A Brief Synopsis ...................................................................................................................................... 13 Did you know? ........................................................................................................................................ 15 Seville, Spain ........................................................................................................................................................ 16 Activities ............................................................................................................................................................. 18 Lessons and Discussion ........................................................................................................................... 18 Discussion Questions– After the show .................................................................................................... 19 Creative Writing ...................................................................................................................................... 20 The Barber of Seville Crossword Puzzle ................................................................................................... 21 The Barber of Seville Word Search .......................................................................................................... 22 A Tasty Treat: Torrijas ............................................................................................................................. 23 Educator/Parent Survey....................................................................................................................................... 25

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Opera 101 What is an opera? An opera is a story set to music, with songs accompanied by orchestra. It’s just like any other drama – a TV show, movie or play. Opera simply includes music and usually sung words, as opposed to spoken. What makes an opera truly unique is that it has everything: there are elements of visual arts, drama, dance, literature, writing, and of course – music. If you take a peek backstage, you’ll note that the people working there are not necessarily musicians; opera is an all-inclusive art form, and it requires people with knowledge of math, science and other technical skills to orchestrate the complete staging of an operatic work.

Let’s talk about the music! While some operas include instances of spoken dialogue, most everything in operas is sung! The singing portions in opera can be divided into two categories: recitative and aria. Recitative is a section of sung words and phrases that are used to develop the action of the story. Because recitative resembles conversation, these sections contain lots of text and more simple melodies. Arias are more like normal songs. They have a more recognizable structure and melody. Arias, unlike recitative, are a stop in the action, where the character usually reflects upon what has happened in the plot. Arias are often solos, meaning they are sung by one person only. When two people are singing, it becomes a duet. When three people sing, it is a trio, and so on.

First time at the opera? Opera comes with lots of stereotypes and preconceived notions. For you first-time opera attendees, here’s your guide to knowing what to expect!

1. I won’t understand what’s going on Actually, those days are over. Back in the late 1900s, someone introduced us to supertitles, meaning the words being sung are projected above the stage. As a result, now you can enjoy the beautiful music and the storyline at the same time, without missing a beat!

2. I have to dress up In its early days, opera was just for the elite, and opera-goers really did need to dress up in order to impress other attendees. Today, there is no dress code, and opera is for everyone! People come to our performances dressed in everything from jeans to evening gowns. Wear what is comfortable (and appropriate)!

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3. Opera singers are fat The stereotype of a fat lady screaming at the top of her lungs in a horned helmet is a stereotype for opera all over the world. That image no longer defines opera singers. (Sorry, Wagner1 fans). The trend is for opera singers to look the part of the person they are portraying – not just in size, but in their voice, stature and the way they are dressed.

Attending the Opera 101 – What to Do (and What NOT to Do) DO turn off your cellphone, or other noise-making devices. You don’t want to interrupt the beautiful music on stage! DON’T be late! People who are late are generally not allowed to be seated until an appropriate moment, which oftentimes falls at intermission. Who wants to miss half of the show?! It is very important not to disturb the audience or the performers. DO wear whatever you want! Again, there is no dress code for the opera, so you can wear whatever is most comfortable for you. DON’T talk or text during the show. You don’t want to disturb other people’s experience at the opera. You can wait for the intermission to tell your friends what you think of the story. DO clap at the beginning, when the conductor comes on stage, at the end of an act, and after arias. DON’T eat, drink, or chew gum during the show. DO have fun! Enjoy the performance and listen carefully to the music. Going to the opera is an exciting experience. Pay attention so you don’t miss out!

Voice Types Soprano The highest of the female voice types, the soprano has always had a place of prominence in the hierarchy of vocal music. In operatic drama, the soprano is almost always the heroine or protagonist; a high and bright sound can suggest youth, innocence, and virtue.

Mezzo-Soprano Often abbreviated to “mezzo,” mezzo-sopranos’ voices are lower than that of sopranos, but

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A late Romantic era composer known for his brilliant innovations in harmony and immensely large scale operas, operas from which the original “fat lady” was born

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higher than contraltos. Throughout history, mezzo voices have been paired with a variety of characters—mothers, seductive heroines, villainesses, and even boys or young men (these roles are referred to as “pants” or “trouser” roles).

Contralto Contraltos are the lowest of the female voice types. It is rare to find contralto singers, and true contralto roles are few and far between. The roles associated with contraltos are usually special character parts, such as witches and gypsies.

Countertenor Natural tenors and baritones with elevated ranges similar to that of female altos are called countertenors. With a great deal of training, this high range becomes the vocalist’s natural voice.

Kirsten Chavez (mezzo-soprano) in the title role of Carmen, 2016 © Lynn Lane

Tenor The highest of the male voice types, tenors are typically the hero or protagonist of the opera.

Baritone The baritone is the most common male voice type, lower in range than the tenor and with a darker tone. In comic operas, the baritone is often the ringleader of hijinks, whereas he is often the villain in tragic operas.

Bass-Baritone Bass-Baritones have a range between that of the baritone and bass. These roles are higher than what a typical bass could comfortably sing, but they occasionally stretch down into the bass register. Vocalists in this category have an even darker tone than baritones. Bass-Baritone Andrew Craig Brown as Boggis in our very first production, 2014 © Karen Almond

Bass

The lowest and darkest of male voices, basses typically portray older characters. In comic operas, these old men are usually foolish and provide the audience with many comedic moments. In serious operas, the low bass voice represents one of two types of characters: aged and wise, or villainous.

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The Production Team It takes more than singers to put on an opera. While you may only see the performers in the spotlight, there are people behind the scenes that put together everything you see and all the things you do not.

On Stage Cast: all singers and actors who appear onstage. Actors: performers who have dialogue but do not sing. Principal: a singer who performs a large role in the opera. Comprimario: a singer who specializes in the small character roles of opera, from the Italian meaning “next to the first�.

Supernumeraries (or Supers): actors who participate in the action but do not speak or sing. Dancers: performers who dance or move to preset movement. Chorus: group of singers who mostly sing together: sometimes this group contains actors and dancers, as well.

Backstage The Artistic Director is the head of the opera and makes all the final decisions. The Stage Director tells our singers how to move across the stage so that you are able to understand what is being sung, even if it is in a different language. The Music Director instructs singers on singing and musical style and leads music rehearsals.

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The Production Manager coordinates between the artistic and business aspects of production and ensures that everything happens on time. The Technical Director coordinates the lighting, set, costumes and the crews that handle those things. The Stage Manager works backstage and tells the singers when to walk onto the stage and helps the stagehands know when to change the scenery.


The Barber of Seville | May 2017 Resource Guide

The Set Designer plans or designs the sets and scenery and supervises set construction. The Lighting Designer plans or designs the color, intensity and frequency of the light onstage. The Wig and Make-Up Designer designs and oversees hairstyles, wigs & make-up. The Costumer plans how each singer is dressed and makes sure that all of the costumes will help the singers accurately portray their characters in the opera’s setting.

The Properties (Props) Manager is in charge of finding objects for the singers to use while on stage that will correctly reflect the time period of the opera and give the actions on stage a more realistic feel. The Choreographer invents dances and movements and teaches them to dancers and/or cast members. The Crew or Stagehands assist in construction, installation and changes of the set, costumes, lights and props.

In the Pit The Conductor tells the orchestra when to play and the singers when to sing. The conductor controls how fast or slow the music goes.

The Orchestra is the group of musicians who play the musical instruments.

One more part of the team… THE AUDIENCE (that’s you!) also has an important role to play. It would not be a real performance without you! Sometimes as an audience member, you too have to be creative. A setting might be suggested by a few panels or a background – so you can imagine the rest of it while the singers tell the story.

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The Cast of The Barber of Seville Figaro, a barber and factotum2 ............................................................ Baritone Count Almaviva, a young nobleman .................................................... Tenor Rosina, a young lady and ward3 of Dr. Bartolo .................................... Mezzo-Soprano Doctor Bartolo, Rosina’s guardian ....................................................... Bass Don Basilio, a music teacher ................................................................ Bass Fiorello, Almaviva’s servant ................................................................. Baritone Berta, Bartolo’s housekeeper ............................................................... Soprano Ambrogio, Bartolo’s servant ................................................................ Bass

Notary, constable, musicians, servants, soldiers

Figaro, a true baritone dream role, will be played by Luis Ledesma.

Sarah Coburn as Rosina in Seattle Opera’s production of The Barber of Seville, 2011. Sarah will reprise this role for our production. © Rozarii Lynch

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Tenor Andrew Owens will play the role of Count Almaviva in our production.

A person employed to do all kinds of work. A person, usually a minor, under the care and control of a guardian appointed by their parents or by the court.

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About the Composer: Gioachino Rossini Composer Gioachino Antonio Rossini was born on February 29, 1792 in Pesaro, Italy. Known for his operatic compositions, his most famous works were comic operas. Specifically, Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville, 1816) and La Cenerentola (Cinderella, 1817) are two frequently performed operas in the standard repertoire.4 Of Rossini’s larger-scale dramatic operas, Guillaume Tell (William Tell, 1829) is the most famous, largely because of the widely-renowned William Tell Overture. The son of Giuseppe Rossini, a very poor trumpeter, and Anna Guidarini, a singer of secondary roles, Gioachino Rossini spent a large chunk of his childhood in the theater. Despite being a lazy student, he entered Bologna’s Philharmonic School at the age of 14; that same year, he composed his very first opera—a serious opera entitled, Demetrio e Polibio. By 15, Rossini had developed skills on the violin, horn, and harpsichord.5 Around this time, he often gave public vocal recitals to earn money. Although Rossini was a gifted vocalist, his voice broke at this young age, leading to his movement into accompaniment and conducting. As Rossini’s career developed, the compositional styles and elements of Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart inspired him to devote his talents to composition. In doing so, he quickly established himself as a staple in the opera buffa (or comic opera) style. He is now remembered as one of the most prolific opera composers in history. Near the end of his life, Rossini moved to Paris, France, and his compositional output slowed down significantly. Some scholars attribute his relative musical silence to his general laziness; others say it is tied to physical and mental illnesses. At 76 years old, Rossini died in Paris on November 13, 1868.

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A whole body of items that are regularly performed. A keyboard instrument, known as the precursor to the piano.

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About the Dramatist: Pierre Beaumarchais Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais was born in Paris, France, on January 24, 1732. He is most widelyknown for his three “Figaro” comedies. Two of them— Le Barbier de Séville (1775) and Le Mariage de Figaro (1784)—serve as the inspiration for Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia and Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (1786), respectively. These are two of the most famous operatic compositions in the standard repertoire. Beaumarchais was the only surviving son of AndréCharles Caron, a Parisian watchmaker. At the age of 12, Pierre joined his father’s business as an apprentice. Although he was a lazy worker, he eventually invented an escapement device for watches at the age of 21, allowing for watches to become more compact and more accurate. When Jean-André Lepaute, France’s royal clockmaker, stole the credit for this idea, Beaumarchais wrote a letter claiming that it was actually he who invented the part. Furthermore, he urged the Royal Academy of Sciences to investigate the origins of the invention. In the end, credit was given to the correct man, and the people of France saw Pierre Beaumarchais, a young nobody, take down the most renowned and important clockmaker in the country as Louis XV hired the young man as the court’s royal watchmaker. As a playwright, Beaumarchais became more or less infamous for incorporating revolutionary social attitudes in his stories. Throughout his three Figaro plays, Beaumarchais satirizes the aristocracy and utilizes the character of Figaro to demonstrate a key idea of the French Revolution: social mobility of working class individuals. For reasons such as this, Le Mariage de Figaro—the second play of the trilogy—was banned by Louis XVI. Today, Beaumarchais is hailed for these revolutionary ideals in his plays. Despite his support of the working class in the revolution, Beaumarchais received some backlash because of his wealth. It was actually believed that he was a loyalist to the old regime; as a result, he was exiled from France near the end of his life. Eventually, he was able to return to Paris, where he lived until his death on May 18, 1799.

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About the Librettist: Cesare Sterbini Italian librettist Cesare Sterbini was born in Rome in 1784. Although he is most widely regarded for his collaborative work on Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, he is relatively well-known as a poet; he also set a number of his poetic works to music as an amateur. Additionally, he was an official of the Vatican treasury. A brilliant young man, he was fluent in four languages: Greek, Latin, French, and German. On top of this extensive linguistic knowledge, he also demonstrated a deep proficiency and interest in philosophy and cultural studies. Undoubtedly, Sterbini’s adaptation of Beaumarchas’s play, Le Barbier de Séville, for Rossini’s opera garnered him the most fame. After all, this libretto6 was also used by composers Constantino Dall’Argine (1868), Giuseppe Graffigna (1879), and Alberto Torazza (1924). Needless to say, none of these works was as successful as Rossini’s comedic masterpiece. However, Sterbini did not earn the title of “Librettist” by writing only one libretto. In 1815, he replaced Jacopo Ferretti as Rossini’s librettist for the opera, Torvaldo e Dorlliska; it was this work that established the professional relationship between Sterbini and the renowned composer. His other more well-known librettos include Il Contraccambio in 1819 and Isaura and Ricciardo in 1820, composed by Giacomo Cordella and Francesco Basili, respectively. Cesare Sterbini died in Rome on January 19, 1831, at the age of 46.

6

The text of an opera or other long vocal work.

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A Brief Synopsis (Wait – what’s a synopsis?) A synopsis, or a brief summary of the opera’s story, is provided in the program booklet for every performance. These come in handy if you’re attending an opera in a foreign language—if you are ever confused about the plot, the synopsis is your own little reference so that you get the full picture. If you’re a fan of suspense, however, you should proceed with caution when it comes to synopses, as they are full of spoilers!

Act 1 Outside of Dr. Bartolo's house, a group of musicians, including the wealthy (and disguised) Count Almaviva, serenade Rosina, a beautiful young maiden kept hidden away inside. When Rosina, the ward of Dr. Bartolo, offers no answer to the musicians' serenade, Almaviva pays the musicians and sends them away. Figaro, once employed by Almaviva, arrives singing a song about being the city's barber and factotum. When Figaro comes across Almaviva, Almaviva asks Figaro for help winning over Rosina. Dr. Bartolo leaves the house with plans to marry Rosina himself. Almaviva serenades Rosina once more, telling her his name is Lindoro and that love is all he has to offer. Finally, Figaro suggests that Almaviva disguise himself as a poor drunken soldier ordered to stay, or billeted, with Dr. Bartolo. Almaviva is so delighted with the plan, he pays Figaro generously. Inside Dr. Bartolo’s house, Rosina, clearly smitten with Lindoro’s song, sings a lovely song about the voice she has just heard. She writes a letter to Lindoro, while secretly planning a way to escape from Dr. Bartolo. Moments later, she is joined by Figaro, but the two quickly leave at the sound of footsteps. Dr. Bartolo arrives with Don Basilio, a music tutor. Basilio tells Dr. Bartolo that Almaviva competes with him to win the hand of Rosina, and that Bartolo must slander Almaviva’s name. Figaro overhears that Dr. Bartolo plans to marry Rosina the following day, and persuades her to give him the letter she has written o Lindoro so that he can deliver it. Alone with Dr. Bartolo, Rosina is questioned and reminded that Dr. Bartolo is unable to be tricked. Midway through his interrogation, a vigorous knocking on the door interrupts them. Berta, Dr. Bartotlo’s maid, answers the door to find Almaviva as the drunken soldier. She brings him up to Dr. Bartolo. As the two men argue, Almaviva manages to pass a letter along to Rosina, whispering to her that he is Lindoro. Dr. Bartolo sees this and demands Rosina to hand over the letter. She complies, but gives him her laundry list instead. Figaro rushes into the room, warning them that their incessant arguing has attracted a crowd, and that authorities are on their way to settle the dispute. Dr. Bartolo, Berta, and Basillio take pleasure in watching the authorities take the disguised Almaviva away from the house. Before he is escorted to jail, they are quickly amazed when he is released without any fuss. Almaviva only had to whisper his identity to them before they complied with letting him go. 13 | P a g e


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Act 2 Now disguised as the substitute music teacher of Don Basilio, who has been very ill, Almaviva arrives to tutor Rosina. Dr. Bartolo is initially hesitant to let him in, but after Almaviva shows him Rosina’s letter to Lindoro, Dr. Bartolo allows him to enter. Almaviva tells Dr. Bartolo that he plans to discredit Lindoro, as Bartolo believes Lindoro to be Count Almaviva’s servant. When the Count enters the room, Rosina immediately recognizes him as her suitor and the two begin their lesson. Figaro arrives to give Dr. Bartolo his scheduled shaving and takes him to another room, stealing a key to the balcony along the way and leaving the young lovers alone. Don Basilio shows up, looking much better, but is quickly turned away when Almaviva bribes him to leave. Almaviva and Rosina discuss their plans to elope, but Dr. Bartolo overhears. He immediately kicks Figaro and Almaviva out of the house and sends Rosina to her room. He then calls for Basilio while poor Berta can barely keep her mind straight from all the confusion. Dr. Bartolo convinces Rosina that Lindoro is just a henchman of Count Almaviva. Later that evening after a large thunderstorm, Almaviva (dressed as his true self) arrives with Figaro. The two men climb up to the balcony and unlock Rosina’s door. As they begin to abduct Rosina, she initially protests. After Almaviva explains that he has been in disguise as Lindoro the whole time, she quickly gives in and falls into his arms. As they begin to make their way from the house, Basilio arrives with a notary intending to marry Rosina and Dr. Bartolo. After another bribe, Basilio allows the notary to marry Almaviva and Rosina instead. Once this marriage is officiated, Dr. Bartolo arrives; Almaviva offers a deal with him that allows the Doctor to keep the dowry. Dr. Bartolo ultimately accepts, and Rosina and Almaviva remain together without objections.

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Did You Know? 5 Must Know Facts about The Barber of Seville 1. FIGARO! FIGARO! FIGARO! Most people, whether they realize it or not, actually know at least one piece of operatic music because of a certain iconic passage: “Figaro, Figaro, Figaroooooo!” This comes from The Barber of Seville in an aria entitled, “Largo al factotum.” Sung by none other than Figaro himself, this aria introduces the audience to the bombastic character and is one of the most famous arias in the operatic repertoire. 2. BUGS BUNNY: THE RABBIT OF SEVILLE Looney Tunes is partially responsible for popularizing The Barber of Seville by bringing its music to people’s own living rooms. “The Rabbit of Seville” is a hilarious episode that includes The Barber of Seville’s overture. Additionally, one 1949 episode entitled, “LongHaired Hare,” has a character singing “Largo al Factotum.” 3. NOT YOUR IDEAL OPENING NIGHT… The first performance of what is now Rossini’s most-loved work was actually a massive failure! It is said that the performers were vastly underprepared and that the audience booed and hissed throughout the entirety of the performance. It didn’t help that many friends and supporters of another composer, Giovanni Paisiello, attended the disastrous performance. Paisiello was overlooked when The Barber of Seville was commissioned, so his fans were very disruptive on Rossini’s opening night. 4. WELCOME TO NEW YORK! The Barber of Seville (or Il barbiere di Siviglia) became the first opera to be sung in Italian in New York City in 1825. This event paved the way for so many more Italian operas to make their way into American operatic culture! 5. VOCAL GYMANSTICS Rossini is famed for writing very difficult vocal lines for his singers. This holds true in The Barber of Seville. Figaro’s “Largo al factotum,” Rosina’s “Una voce poco fa,” and especially Count Almaviva’s “Ecco, ridente in cielo” are all very taxing on the voice and are regarded as some of the hardest arias in the standard repertoire.

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Seville, Spain About the city Sevilla, or Seville, is the capital city of Andalusia7 and is one of the largest cities in Spain. It is located in the southeast region of Spain on the plain of the Guadalquivir River, which crosses the city from north to south. Seville is important in history as a major culture center, as a capital of Muslim Spain, and as a center for Spanish exploration of the New World. The city is known for its beautiful Alcazar Castle, built during the Moorish Almohad dynasty, and its 18th century Plaza de Tores de la Real Maestranza bullring. It is located in the very heart of Andalusian culture, the center of bullfighting and Flamenco music. Additionally, Seville is a very important historical city because of its role as a link between Europe and the Americas. As a port city, it was vital for Spain’s commerce with the New World; Seville was the Spanish Empire’s economic center. Today it is one of the most active river ports of the Iberian Peninsula and the only river port in Spain. Archaeologists have discovered that the original core of Seville existed as early as the 8 th century BCE, founded by the Tartessians. At this time, however, the city was called Spal, or Ispal; later, the name changed to Hispalis. The Romans later built Itálica, near to the Hispalis settlement, in 207 B.C. and both became the center of their Western Mediterranean dominions for seven centuries until the Roman Empire was defeated by Vandals and Visigoths at the beginning of the 10th century. The Moors then occupied the Iberian Peninsula from 711 AD to 1248 AD, leaving traces of their culture in Seville and in all of Andalusia. The most well-known of the remaining Islamic monuments is La Giralda, which is the tower of a mosque. In 1492 Seville's ports played an important role in the discovery and conquest of the Americas, as demonstrated by the fact that Christopher Columbus’s tomb is located in Seville. Moving forward, the 17th century was a period of grand art in Seville: painters such as Diego Velázquez, Murillo, and Valdés Leal, as well as sculptor Martínez Montañés were all born

7

A former name for Southern Spain.

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in Seville and left behind impressive works. The city also held a major influence over world literature—it gave life to the legendary figure of Don Juan and to opera's dramatic “Carmen” and the lighthearted “Figaro.” In the 20th century, Seville found itself in the international spotlight. It hosted the Latin American Exposition in 1929, which left important urban improvements in the city. In 1992, it hosted the Expo92, which reinforced the image of Seville as a modern and dynamic city. Today, Seville continues to thrive and has a population of approximately 696,676 people.

Let’s see what you learned! Use the above section to answer these questions!

What river goes through the city?

Who founded the city of Seville, and what was the city’s original name?

What is the most well-known Islamic monument in the city?

Aside from Figaro, what other major operatic character did Seville “give life to”?

What is Seville’s current population?

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Lessons and Discussion Discussion: How could such a funny, lighthearted opera be seen as controversial in the time it was written? The controversy centered on the relationship between people of the middle, or working, class and people of the upper class. At the time— especially because of the French Revolution—the idea of “social mobility” for working class peoples was scandalous for those of the aristocracy (or the very high class people of society). Additionally, each story in Beaumarchais’s “Figaro Trilogy” exhibits upper-class individuals as dimwitted and foolish; at the time, people of the aristocracy did not appreciate being depicted in such a way. Discussion: enjoying opera buffa (comedic opera) versus opera seria (serious opera). Because operas are often in foreign languages, it can be difficult for audiences to understand what the actors are singing about. Of course, supertitles make it possible for the audience to follow along easily, but this is a relatively new development. With opera seria, which encompasses productions like Carmen from our previous season, actors are able to convey meaning through deep expression of emotions—which is no easy feat, but the words have mildly less meaning as the audience can still catch on to the general feeling of the scenes. In opera buffa, on the other hand, how could audiences thoroughly enjoy performances when the words—the quick wit, interactions between characters, and funny quips—are so important?

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Discussion Questions—After the Show! 1. How would you describe Figaro’s character? What about the Count? How are they similar, and how do they differ? 2. Why do you think the Count disguised himself as Lindoro? 3. Compare the vocal parts between the characters. As we know, this opera is a comedy. Do the characters’ vocal parts line up with the types of characters those parts tend to play? 4. Who is the story about? In your opinion, who seems to be the protagonist? 5. How does Rossini’s music establish mood and characterization? 6. Who was your favorite character? Why? 7. Who had your favorite aria? 8. Which parts of the opera were the most comedic? 9. Given what we’ve discussed about the controversy around this type of story when it was written, do you think that the upper-class characters (particularly, Don Basilio and Dr. Bartolo) were depicted as foolish? 10. Which character or characters seem to transform throughout the story? Why?

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Creative Writing Writing Assignment: Write about what happens after the end of this story! Does Figaro find someone to marry? Do the Count and Rosina have children? What happens to Bartolo?

Use as many (or as few) characters that you want!

Remember: Pierre Beaumarchais already wrote a sequel—The Marriage of Figaro—that continues to tell their story. But don’t worry about that! Create your own unique story. And, if you choose, look into what happens in the sequel to see if you and Beaumarchais had similar ideas!

TIPS FOR WRITING: 1) You can change the setting! Rosina and Count Almaviva, our newlywed couple may have stayed in Spain, or they could have moved to an entirely new country. It’s entirely up to you—the world really is your oyster! 2) Really think about the plot. What happens to the characters? How do they grow and change during the story? What specific events take place? Where is the conflict? Make the story as interesting and unique as possible! 3) It doesn’t have to be perfect on the first try. Write your story and discuss it with your teacher. After they give you some suggestions, rewrite a second draft with improvements from the first.

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The Barber of Seville Crossword

Across 5. The composer of Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) 8. Dr. Bartolo's ward 10. The capital city of Andalusia 11. A device for watches that Pierre Beaumarchais invented 12. The barber in the story of The Barber of Seville 13. The last name of the dramatist who wrote Le Barbier de SĂŠville

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Down 1. The highest female voice type 2. Rossini's father's first name 3. The city where Rossini died 4. Count Almaviva's servant 6. The person who directs the orchestra and gives cues to the singers, telling them when to sing 7. The composer of Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) 9. A singer who specializes in playing small character roles 13. A cartoon character whose show helped popularize the music in The Barber of Seville


The Barber of Seville | May 2017 Resource Guide

The Barber of Seville Word Search K

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ALMAVIVA ARIA BARBER BARITONE BARTOLO BASILIO BEAUMARCHAIS

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BERTA CHORUS CONTRALTO COUNTERTENOR DON FIGARO LARGO

OPERA PRINCIPAL ROSINA ROSSINI SEVILLE STAGEHANDS WARD


The Barber of Seville | May 2017 Resource Guide

A Tasty Treat: Torrijas A Sevillian specialty typically prepared around Holy Week, Torrijas are often prepared year-round in pastry shops and restaurants—they’re just that good! Torrijas are also a very popular breakfast item throughout all of Spain.

INGREDIENTS 

4-6 slices of stale baguette or white bread*

3/4 cup milk

1 egg

vegetable oil for frying, such as canola or corn oil, NOT olive oil

1/8 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle (optional)

honey to drizzle (optional)

* TIP: If you do not have stale bread on hand, lightly toast the sliced bread so that it dries out enough to soak up the milk and not turn to mush. Pour the milk into a medium-size mixing bowl. Add the egg and beat together. Add vanilla extract, if desired. Pour enough oil into a large frying pan to cover the bottom and heat on medium. Be careful that the oil does not burn.

PREPARATION If you are using stale white bread, place one slice in the milk-egg mixture and quickly flip it over with a fork. Make sure that the bowl is next to the frying pan, so you can quickly transfer it from the bowl to the heated pan. If you use a stale baguette, slices should be at least 1/2 inch thick. If the bread is more than a day old, you may need to soak the bread for 2-3 minutes or more, so that it softens up. Be careful that the bread does not soften so much that it crumbles when you lift it out of the bowl. Carefully lift the bread out of the mixture and let the excess milk drain before placing the bread in the frying pan. Repeat for each of the other slices.

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The Barber of Seville | May 2017 Resource Guide

After 2-3 minutes, check the bottom of the bread. As the slices turn golden, turn each one. You may wish to use a nylon spatula or tongs to turn the slices over. Make sure that you have enough room in the pan to turn the slices. Remove each piece from the pan and place on a plate. Sprinkle the top with sugar and cinnamon. If you prefer, drizzle honey over the top. Garnish with fresh fruit and serve immediately.

Note: If the torrijas cool down and you wish to heat them up, place them back in the frying pan on low heat or in a toaster oven at a low temperature. Do not place them in a microwave because this will cause the bread to become rubbery.

Variations 

Substitute 1/2 cup milk and 1/4 cup half-and-half for the 3/4 cup milk to give a richer taste.



Pour flavored honey, such as orange blossom, clover, or eucalyptus over bread before serving.

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The Barber of Seville | May 2017 Resource Guide

Educator and Parent Survey The best tool we have for assessing the effectiveness of our programs is your feedback! This is completely optional. Feel free to submit this evaluation along with any comments, photos, or other responses you have to our production, this study guide, or to opera in general. Thank you so much for your great support! Without you, we would not exist, and we cannot thank you enough for allowing us to continue in our efforts to build community and enrich people’s lives through music. Date: Name: School & District: Phone: Email: Address: Did/will you attend The Barber of Seville? Is this your first opera? If not, what have you seen before, and what was your favorite? This is our fourth season and our third year providing study guides and educational programming which aligns with our productions. Please let us know what we can improve:

And what we did well:

How did your students react to opera, initially?

Have your students/children ever attended other performing arts events outside of school?

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The Barber of Seville | May 2017 Resource Guide

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being of the utmost importance, how do you rate the priority of arts and cultural education for our youth?

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5

On the same scale of 1 to 5, how important is it to you for students to be able to take fieldtrips and visit programs outside of school?

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2

3

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5

How important is it for those programs to come directly to the schools?

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5

4

5

How would you rate this guide in terms of being helpful?

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2

3

How can we as your opera company make a better impact on your students?

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4

Please feel free to leave any additional comments:

Please return this survey to Rhanda Luna, Director of Administration and Education. Email: rhanda@operasa.org or Mail to: Rhanda Luna, Dir. of Admin. & Education OPERA San Antonio 417 8th Street, San Antonio, TX, 78212

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5


The Barber of Seville | May 2017 Resource Guide

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