Rossini's opera recounts the events of the first of the three plays by French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais that revolve around the clever and enterprising character named Figaro, the barber of the title. Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro, composed 30 years earlier in 1786, is based on the second part of the Beaumarchais trilogy.
Rossini's Barber has proven to be one of the greatest masterpieces of comedy within music, and has been described as the opera buffa of all "opere buffe". After two hundred years, it remains a popular work.
Count Almaviva - Giuseppe Di Stefano
Figaro - Giuseppe Valdengo
Rosina - Lilly Pons
Don Basilio - Jerome Hines
Dr. Bartolo - Salvatore Baccaloni
The MET Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Alberto Erede - conductor