The Barber of Seville Synopsis

Act 1

Outside the house of Dr. Bartolo in Seville. Accompanied by Fiorello and a group of musicians, Count Almaviva serenades his beloved Rosina from beneath her window. He encounters his former employee Figaro—now the barber, matchmaker, and self-styled “factotum” to all of Seville, who informs the Count that Rosina is the ward of Dr. Bartolo. Almaviva wants to be loved for himself, and not his riches, so Figaro encourages him to try a second serenade, this time as a poor student named Lindoro. On hearing Bartolo make plans to marry Rosina himself, the Count and Figaro plot to foil those plans and rescue Rosina. To get  him into Bartolo’s house, Figaro suggests a disguise and a distraction: the Count will pretend to be a soldier seeking a billet, and drunk.

Inside the house, Rosina longs for freedom and secretly writes "Lindoro" a note on stolen paper. Don Basilio, Rosina’s singing teacher, warns Bartolo that Count Almaviva has designs on Rosina, and suggests that slander would be the best way to get rid of him. Bartolo enlists Basilio to draw up his marriage contract to Rosina immediately. Figaro overhears their plot. He warns Rosina and promises to deliver her note to “Lindoro”. Bartolo deduces that Rosina has written someone a letter and chastises her. As per his plan with Figaro, the Count, dressed as a drunken soldier, bursts into the house insisting on lodging there, and manages to get a note to Rosina despite Bartolo’s strenuous objections. Their quarrel becomes a public disturbance involving Figaro, Bartolo's crusty household, the local police and all the neighbours. The day ends in chaos.


Act 2

The next morning, still confused as to the identity of the drunken soldier, Bartolo opens his doors to a stranger - the Count, disguised this time as "Don Alonso", Don Basilio’s substitute music teacher. "Alonso” allays Bartolo’s suspicions by showing Bartolo Rosina's letter to “Lindoro”, outlining his plan to slander Lindoro, who is clearly pursuing women on the Count’s behalf. With Bartolo's full support, "Alonso" accompanies Rosina's singing lesson, giving the lovers a ruse to get to know each other better in plain sight of their nemesis. Figaro arrives to give Bartolo his weekly shave, and manages to steal a key to the house. Don Basilio enters unexpectedly, rousing Bartolo's suspicions about Alonso, and throwing the young trio's rescue plans into doubt. "Alonso" bribes Basilio to keep quiet and leave. 

Bartolo catches the lovers plotting and kicks "Alonso" and Figaro out of his house. Berta, the housemaid complains that love makes everyone crazy. Basilio tells Bartolo that the Count Almaviva is behind the plot. Seeking to expedite his wedding plans, Bartolo tells Rosina that her “Lindoro” is really acting on behalf of Count Almaviva. With her own letter as proof, Rosina’s faith in Lindoro is shattered. During a storm, chaos upends the house as Figaro and the Count use the stolen key to rescue Rosina. Furious at his deception, she refuses. After “Lindoro” reveals his true identity, the lovers blissfully reconcile and Figaro tries to hurry things along. When the escape ladder goes missing, disaster is averted by bribing Basilio to witness the marriage of Almaviva and Rosina. Bartolo concedes defeat and blesses the lovers. Everyone throws inhibitions to the wind and celebrates with a fandango!