One of opera history’s most notorious nights — the 200th anniversary was three weeks ago — must have sounded something like a Donald Trump rally. The premiere of Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” barely got underway at a Rome theater before the protests started, with catcalls and whistles drowning out the music.
The troublemakers, fans of another composer who had written a then-admired “Barber of Seville” years earlier, thought they had humiliated the upstart 23-year-old Rossini so badly that they stayed home the next night. Once people had a chance to hear the new “Barber” uninterrupted, this comic masterpiece was a hit, of course. Its enduring quality is reiterated in a buoyant production from Lyric Opera Baltimore.
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