The Barber of Seville


Conducted by George Manahan
Directed by Christopher Mattaliano

Don’t miss the charismatic character we all know and love: “Figaro! Figaro! Fig-a-rooo!”

This opera sparkles with fun-filled comedy and mischief.

Count Almaviva has fallen for the charming Rosina, and enlists the help of the town barber Figaro to assist in winning her affection.  Together they try to outwit her guardian Dr. Bartolo, who also vies for her hand (and inheritance). Classic shenanigans and twists promise to delight audiences both young and young at heart in one of the greatest bel canto comic operas of all time.


Performed in Italian with English captions.
Approximately 3 hours, with one intermission.

A fun-filled love letter to opera’s brilliant past, Christopher Mattaliano’s colorful and nostalgic production of The Barber of Seville stars Metropolitan Opera baritone John Moore as the scheming barber. Mezzo-soprano Aleksandra Romano, last seen at Portland Opera as Isabella in The Italian Girl in Algiers, is Rosina, and tenor Jack Swanson is Count Almaviva.


The Barber of Seville Preview: All Classical Thursdays @ Three
Listen to the archived program from May 30 here.

Adventures in Artslandia: Interview with George Manahan and Aleksandra Romano
Listen to the podcast hosted by Susannah Mars here.


Looking for dining options, directions, or more information? Create your opera experience with the assistance of our Portland Opera Concierge: | 503-241-1407

Join us one hour before curtain for a discussion providing context and unique insights into the world of the opera. After the performance join Christopher Mattaliano, Portland Opera’s general director, along with cast members or collaborators, for a post-show conversation.

Tickets start at $35. View seating map for Keller Auditorium.


The performance of The Barber of Seville on June 9, 2019 at 2 PM will include an audio description of the visual and physical events on stage for patrons who are blind or have low vision. For patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing, each performance is translated with English text projected above the stage. If you require wheelchair, ADA, or companion seating, please let our Patron Services team know when you purchase tickets, so that we can ensure your visit to the opera is an excellent one.

Photos by Cory Weaver.

Watch our trailer!


Aleksandra Romano

Count Almaviva
Jack Swanson

John Moore

Doctor Bartolo
Eduardo Chama

Don Basilio
Adam Lau

Antonia Tamer

Geoffrey Schellenberg

An Officer
Thomas Cilluffo

George Manahan

Christopher Mattaliano

Costume Designer
James Scott

Scenic Designer
Allen Moyer

Lighting Designer
Paul Palazzo

Plot & Program Notes

The libretto for The Barber of Seville was based on the French comedy Le Barbier de Séville, the first of three plays by Pierre Beaumarchais wrote about the character Figaro. Mozart’s opera, Le Nozze di Figaro, was based on the second play in the trilogy.


ACT I: Seville, 1830s. Before dawn, Count Almaviva brings a band of musicians to serenade Rosina, ward of Dr. Bartolo, who keeps the girl confined in his house. When Rosina fails to answer his song, the Count pays the players, and they leave. At the sound of Figaro’s voice, Almaviva steps away as the barber bounds in, boasting of his busy life as the neighborhood factotum. Figaro, though currently in Bartolo’s employ, encounters Almaviva and promises to help him win Rosina—for a suitable reward. No sooner has Bartolo left the house to arrange his own marriage with Rosina than Almaviva launches into a second serenade, calling himself “Lindoro,” a poor creature who can offer only love. Figaro suggests Almaviva disguise himself as a drunken soldier billeted to Bartolo’s house.

Alone in the house, Rosina muses on the voice that has touched her heart and resolves to outwit Bartolo. Figaro joins her, but they leave on hearing footsteps. Bartolo is visited by the music master, Don Basilio, who tells him Almaviva is a rival for Rosina’s hand and advises slandering the nobleman’s reputation. Bartolo agrees, but Figaro overhears them.

Warning Rosina that Bartolo plans to marry her himself the very next day, the barber promises to deliver a note she has written to “Lindoro.” Rosina, alone with Bartolo, undergoes an interrogation, then listens to his boast that he is far too clever to be tricked. Berta, the housekeeper, answers violent knocking at the door, returning with Almaviva disguised as a drunken soldier in search of lodging. While arguing with Bartolo, Almaviva manages to slip a love letter to Rosina. But when Bartolo demands to see the letter, the girl substitutes a laundry list. Figaro dashes in to warn that their hubbub has attracted a crowd. Police arrive to silence the disturbance.

As an officer is about to arrest him, Almaviva whispers his identity and is released. Rosina, Berta, Bartolo and Basilio are stupefied by everything that is happening.


ACT II: Bartolo receives a young music teacher, “Don Alonso” (again Almaviva in disguise), who claims to be a substitute for the ailing Basilio. Rosina enters, recognizes her suitor and begins her singing lesson as Bartolo dozes in his chair. Figaro arrives to shave the doctor and manages to steal the key to the balcony window. Basilio now comes in, looking the picture of health. Bribed by Almaviva, he feigns illness and departs. Figaro shaves Bartolo while Almaviva and Rosina plan their elopement that night. They are overheard by the doctor, who drives Figaro and Almaviva from the house and Rosina to her room, then sends again for Basilio. Berta, unnerved by all the confusion, complains she is going mad. Bartolo dispatches Basilio for a notary, then tricks Rosina into believing “Lindoro” is really a flunky of Almaviva. After a thunderstorm, Almaviva arrives with Figaro and climbs through a balcony window to abduct Rosina. At first the girl rebuffs “Lindoro,” but when he explains that he and Almaviva are one and the same, she falls into his arms. Figaro urges haste, but before they can leave, their ladder is taken away.

Basilio enters with the notary. Though summoned to wed Rosina and Bartolo, the official marries her instead to Almaviva, who bribes Basilio. Rushing in too late, Bartolo finds the lovers already wed. Realizing that he’s been outwitted and “what’s done is done,” Bartolo gives his blessing to the young lovers. All congratulate the happy couple and celebrate the power of true love!

–Courtesy of Opera News