(recording of the famous 1950 New York staging of ‘The Barber of Seville’, starring baritone Giuseppe Valdengo as Figaro ; and soprano Lily Poms as Rosina)
In the late 18C / early 19C, it was customary, for several different composers to tackle the same subject in opera, sometime even the same libretto, and so this was the case with ‘Il Barbiere di Siviglia’ : the composer Giovanni Paisello (1740-1816) had first written his own version, in 1782 ... Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) had anticipated this and had therefore entitled his 1816 version ‘Almaviva, ossia L’inutile precauzione’ (“Almaviva or the Useless Precaution”).
This did not prevent a serious rivalry developing between Paisello’s, and Rossini’s supporters, which also transfigured into a rivalry between two of the major Roman theatres, Teatro Argentina and Teatro Valle. Teatro Argentina was the theatre staging Rossini’s version, but a mob of Teatro Valle / Paisello supporters descended upon the premiere of Rossini’s opera, with the express intention, of turning the evening into a fiasco ... and, to a large extent, succeeded!
Paisello supporters’ success was short-lived however : Already by the second performance Rossini’s music silenced all opposition, and his own ‘Il Barbiere di Siviglia’ became known, thereafter, as one of the global highpoints of opera buffa, the comic repertoire.
Disc One : The Barber of Seville, by Rossini :-
1) Overture (6:28)
2)–19) Act One, beginning (62:28)
Disc Two : Barber of Seville, conclusion :-
1)-5) Act One, conclusion (19:21)
6)-21) Act Two (42:59)
Disc One is in EX+ condition.
Disc Two is in EX- condition.