Springtime in Washington DC
Rossini comes to Washington DC with an answer to the doctor vacancy, thoughts about a Constitutional Amendment, and of course, the topic of MONEY.
These are all current issues in the capital city of the United States and Rossini might have found it ironic ( or not) that his Il barbiere di Siviglia touches on these issues, each in their own way.
1. A doctor comes to town. Doctor Bartolo is often relegated to the ranks of a secondary character ( after Figaro, Rosina, and Almaviva) but this role affords ample opportunity to present complexity. It will surely happen in this production!
2. How many Americans know the 3rd Amendment to the US Constitution? Very few, most likely. And when they discover that it is ”No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” the reaction is most likely “what?” This issue was a big deal in the world at the time it was written ( 1789) so it is not a surprise that it figures in the plot of Barbiere,
3. And then there is money! “The secret protagonist of the opera: they all talk about it, they are all looking for it.” In the words of Alberto Zedda.
Il barbiere di Siviglia plays at Washington National Opera through May 19th.