In exclusivity, in a double interview by BIANCA L. NICA, OPERA Charm Magazine meets Roberto de Candia & Maria Fillipo Romano, two of the protagonists of Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Teatro Comunale di Bologna, production that has opened the Autumn season of this theater on October 17th. Both affirmed rossinian performers, the two baritones talked about their bound with the characters that they are bringing in front of the public & about the meaning of these characters in the context of their career, about Rossini, the difficulties & the satisfactions of performing his masterpieces. Enjoy their captivating rossinian answers, find out more about the similarities & the difference between Figaro & Don Bartolo, but not only!
Describe your character: Figaro/Don Bartolo.
de Candia: Figaro is the main engine of the score. It’s him, with his wit and money need, that moves everything. Already from his entrance Cavatina we see energy sparkling all over the stage. That’s Figaro. It’s the light of his ideas that represent a new social class that is coming up. The count is always looking for someone that could solve his problems. He’s used to that. Figaro, instead, is a man that can continuously re-invent himself and therefore is able to find solution to al problems. The duet between the two characters is just exemplary.
Romano: The libretto defines him as “an old man, a miser, suspicious, grumpy…” these are Figaro’s words. As Bartolo, I would define myself as a man who is certainly very cultured, being a doctor, he is suspicious but because he fears losing the privileges given by his status. What makes him funny is that he takes himself too seriously. Perhaps a little credulous.
There’s a strong bound between you and your character. Tell us a short story about a very important moment for you performing Figaro/Don Bartolo.
de Candia: Figaro is a role that has been with me since the very first years of my career. I have studied it with my teacher Sesto Bruscantini that has also been one of the biggest Figaros in Opera history. It’s been a huge privilege to study the role with him. I still keep copies of those lessons tapes. Every night, when I go on stage and sing one of the most famous arias in Opera, I feel the responsibility of what I’m doing. Not only because i feel the comparison with all the biggest baritones of history but, above all, with him. My goal is to try, every night, to try and reach that perfection he represented.
Romano: It is a very strong bond, it is the role I have played the most, and I have given more than 100 performances (celebrated in my last Barbiere di Siviglia at La Scala in Milan). It was the role that directed me towards this repertoire, it made me discover what it means to be funny. I have many performances behind me and there are so many good moments, but the one I am most fond of is a Barbiere in South Korea where my wife Silvia played Rosina. We had a lot of fun on stage.
Read the entire interview here, in the 6th/2021 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.0