Glyndebourne has returned to the Proms for Rossini’s mad opera of disguises and shaved beards, where the smiles and double entendres never seem to end. It is the first time that the BBC Proms have added The Barber of Seville to its programme, performed as a semi-stage presentation, and as last night highlighted it proved to be a spectacular night of giddiness, charming music and theatrical comedy.
The opera, based on the first of a triology of plays by Beaumarchais, follows the journey of the Count (Taylor Stayton) as he seeks means to claim his love Rosina (Danielle de Niese), yet her brutish bore of a guardian Bartolo (Alessandro Corbelli) intends to marry her, and keep her for himself. But then, there is Figaro (Björn Bürger) – he’s the fixer. Together with the Count, Figaro assists him in his mission for love whilst getting themselves into numerous silly mishaps.