[Le Barbier de Séville]

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[Le Barbier de Séville]


The Barber of Sevilla

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The comedy generally known as “The Barber of Sevilla” is strongly recommended because it contains nothing offensive nor objectionable, and also that it appeals to everybody in its delightfully amusing humor. The cinematographic piece has been pantomimed with the greatest care by competent artists, who have been carefully selected and who have studiously striven to conform themselves to the masterpiece of Beaumarchais. We place also on sale a shortened edition of the same piece, in which the second, fifth and seventh tableaux are taken out. We give our customers the privilege of purchasing any of the tableaux taken out of the shortened edition, urging them to be careful to specify in their orders what tableau or tableaux they desire. In such case we advise first of all the Seventh Tableau, which terminates happily and brilliantly the piece and forms a fine finale to the cinematographic view. The tableaux removed from the shortened edition are printed in italics.

FIRST TABLEAU

A. Public Place in Sevilla.-To the left, the house of Mr Bartolo; to the right, a fountain; in the foreground, picturesque little streets with staircases, bridges, windows adorned with balconies and blinds in the Hispano-Moorish style.

1. Count Almaviva, wrapped in a large cloak with his felt hat drawn over his eyes, advances toward the house of Dr. Bartolo in the hope of seeing appear on her balcony Rosina, pupil of this old doctor, whom he has observed while promenading and with whom he has fallen violently in love. He has dressed himself so as not to be recognized, for Bartolo himself wishing to marry his pupil, is very jealous of her. He seeks a means of communicating with the one whom he loves, when the arrival of an intruder obliges him to hide behind a wall.

2. Entry of Figaro, former servant of Count Almaviva, who, after having left his service, has led a Bohemian life-sometimes a writer, sometimes a journalist, and at other times poet and singer-and who, after having tried his hand at a thousand trades, now combines at Sevilla the duties of veterinarian, barber and apothecary. He enters while humming and composing verses. Almaviva approaches him and recognizes his former servant. The Count explains to Figaro why he is at this late hour in the streets of Sevilla, and he asks Figaro, an intriguing and malicious person, if he could not assist him in accomplishing his project, that of taking Rosina away from Dr. Bartolo and marrying her in spite of the clever precautions of the jealous and crafty old man. Figaro, upon the assurance of the Count that he will be well paid for his services, enlists his aid to the Count to accomplish his projects at any cost. At this moment Figaro, hearing the window of Bartolo open, hides with the Count behind a fountain, and both put themselves on observation.

3. The old Bartolo appears on the balcony and, after having assured himself that there is nobody watching in the neighborhood of his dwelling, the makes Rosina come out and take the air with him. He makes a ridiculous declaration of love, which she listens to with weariness and sadness. But the young girl, although kept apart by her old tutor, has heard the Count declare to Figaro his love for her, and she let fall, as if by accident, a roll of music which she was carrying in her hand, and in which she had slipped a letter intended for Almaviva, of whose name and rank she was as yet ignorant. The old Bartolo scolds here for her awkwardness, and Rosina asks him to go down and get the music. While he is descending she makes a sign to Figaro, whom she has spied behind the fountain; he goes and picks up the roll, draws out the letter, hurries it to the Count, who, after having read it, clutches the missive with joy.

4. Bartolo goes out, looks everywhere for the roll without finding it, naturally. Rosina tells him that the wind must have been going on, and cries, “Bartolo, my friend, you are nothing but a blockhead.” He determines to keep his eyes open in the future and to redouble his surveillance. He remounts to the balcony and makes his pupil come out; then he overwhelms her with reproaches.

5. Figaro advises Count Almaviva to disguise himself in the uniform of a soldier and to present himself to Dr. Bartolo with a lodging certificate, which will permit him to enter the place and to communicate with his beloved. Almaviva agrees, and both go away to find the costume necessary for his disguise.

6. Entry of a body of Spanish soldiers. The young men and women come in to play a serenade and dance under the window of Bartolo, who appears upon his balcony in a rage and insists upon their going farther away to make their serenades.
Return of Figaro with a bundle containing the soldier’s uniform and accompanied by Count Almaviva. Both look around the house of Bartolo to find a place suitable for changing their clothing.

SECOND TABLEAU

7. The Kitchen of Doctor Bartolo.-In the kitchen one sees the old Marcelina, servant of Dr. Bartolo, in the act of cooking her dinner. Figaro climbs up on the outside through the window and leaps into the place with his bundle. Marcelina is frightened at his sudden appearance, but she recovers herself when she recognizes her friend Figaro, a hopelessly droll fellow but nevertheless well meaning, and extends to him her hand. Figaro pretends that he finds her looking ill, and tells her that she has a grave disease. The poor cook listens to him with an amusing despair. Figaro adds: “It will not amount to much, but you will have to be bled at once.” He makes Marcelina sit down and he bleeds her in the arm; she is seized with a fit of hysterics and faints away.

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8. Figaro makes a sign to the Count and he enters by the same way into the kitchen. He opens the bundle and assists Almaviva in transforming himself into the guise of a soldier. Both go out through the window; the servant (in a faint) has not perceived what they have done.

THIRD TABLEAU

9. The Public Place.-Figaro and the Count return to the street before the house of Bartolo; the barber says: “Take courage and enter without hesitating.” The Count knocks at the door; a servant of the doctor, called L’Eveillé, comes and opens it, but refuses to admit the tipsy soldier. Almaviva seizes him by the arm, makes him dance a pirouette, which throws him down, and he then rushes into the house, followed by the despairing L’Eveillé.

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FOURTH TABLEAU

10. Rosin’as Chamber.-Dr Bartolo, who has closed carefully the windows and blinds, makes Rosina sit down, and he orders her to work at her embroidery; then he enters his own room and proposes to himself to watch with the greatest care. As soon as he has gone, Rosina lays down her work and begins to write a letter intended for Almaviva. At the same moment Figaro introduces himself into the room through the window, and brings a letter to her from the Count, forewarning her of his visit. She gives to Figaro the letter which she was writing, and the barber, hearing Bartolo returning, disappears through the window.

11. Bartolo returns and has a scene with Rosina, having discovered some ink on her fingers. She assures him that she has written nothing, but the old fox shows her the pen still full of fresh ink, and while Rosina is protesting that she has used the pen to trace over the design of her embroidery, Bartolo counts the leaves of letter-paper put upon her table and makes her confess that there are but five sheets on the table where there were originally six. It is then impossible to deny it. A stormy scene takes place, but it is interrupted by the arrival of Almaviva, disguised as a soldier.

12. Almaviva presents to Bartolo his lodging certificate. A comical scene, during which the Count, while trying to counterfeit drunkenness, attempts to pass a letter to Rosina. After several fruitless attempts he finally succeeds. Bartolo refuses to receive the soldier, his profession of doctor exempting him from lodging men in the army. He drives Almaviva’s letter while she had observed Bartolo watch her, hastens to take out the letter of the Count, which she hides under a blotting case, and to substitute for it the letter which she had received that morning from her cousin.

13. Bartolo, after having driven away Almaviva, scolds Rosina and asks for the letter. She firmly refuses, and after an exhaustive altercation pretends that she feels ill. Bartolo, in great fright at first, seeks smelling salts to revive her, but he changes him mind and strives to profit from her fainting fit by reading the letter which she has concealed. He takes it from her corsage and smiles with pleasure when he finds that he has been mistaken and that the letter is wholly insignificant. He puts it back into Rosina’s corsage, laughing still at his foolish fear and reproaching himself for his brutality. He makes Rosina revive by throwing himself on his knees and begging pardon. The latter, laughing up her sleeve, says to him: “You are very anxious to see this letter,” and she offers it to him. Bartolo refuses to read it this time, protesting that he has faith in her word. Then he sends her to her bedroom, while advising her to take a rest after such exciting scenes.

14. At this moment somebody knocks at the door and Bartolo goes to open it. Entry of Master Basil, organist and singing teacher of Rosina, friend and adviser of Bartolo, a false, mercenary and wicked man. Bartolo relates to him his troubles and his fears, and says that if he should meet the lover of Rosina he would will him. “Take care,” cries the hypocritical Basil, “that would throw you into a bad mess.” Then he relates to the downcast Bartolo that the best means of ridding one’s self of a troublesome enemy is to employ calumny. “Calumniate, calumniate, something will always come out of it. And calumny which has begun to slip into one car very, very softly, will soon swell into a crescendo and finally crush the victim.” “What chattering is that?” cries out Bartolo, “you have not so many affairs that you cannot go to my notary and tell him to come here this evening to sign my marriage contract?” “At your orders,” replies Basil.
Then Bartolo offers a purse to Basil, but he blandly refuses it. He retires while extending his hand behind his back to accept the money, with a protest against taking it. Bartolo then says to Basil: “I accompany you.” He puts on his cloak and his hat. Amusing exit, in which the two personages overwhelm each other with polite deference in wishing not to go out first. Basil goes out last, but he is obliged to double up in order to go under the doorway, which is far too low for his tall figure and his enormous hat. During all of this scene Figaro, who entered by the window, has hidden himself so as to hear the conversation. He tells Rosina of the intentions of her tutor and promises her to strive to prevent her marriage with Bartolo.

FIFTH TABLEAU

15. The Public Place.-One sees Bartolo and Basil come out of the house of the doctor. The latter orders his servants, l’Eveillé and La Jeunesse, to station them selves together at the door and not to let anybody enter during his absence. As soon as Basil and Bartolo are gone Figaro leaps from Rosina’s balcony into the street, and approaching the two lackeys, of whom he is the regular physician, he solicits them to take some medicine, which he offers them while he tells them that they do not look well. He gives to one a sleeping powder and to the other a medicine for sternutation. The two unfortunate footmen begin immediately the one to yawn, the other to sneeze continually. Figaro nearly bursts with laughter, but when he sees Bartolo returning he conceals himself in the place.

16. Bartolo asks his footmen what happened in this absence, but neither of them is able to reply, the one yawns and the other sneezes alternately. Bartolo, in a rage, drives them into the house and follows after them.

17. Figaro then makes a sign to Count Almaviva, who enters concealed in a new disguise which Figaro declares to be superb. Figaro knocks at Bartolo’s door. La Jeunesse opens. Figaro presents Almaviva under the name of Don Alonzo, pupil of Basil, who comes in the place of his master, who is ill and in bed, to give the singing lesson to Rosina. La Jeunesse leads in Almaviva, who enters followed by Figaro.

SIXTH TABLEAU

18. The Singing Lesson.-Arrival of Figaro and Almaviva, the latter disguised as a singing teacher. Bartolo learns with surprise of the illness of Basil, who has left but a few hours ago. Suspecting some farce, he insists that the lesson shall take place in his presence. He seats himself in an arm chair and orders the professor to begin the lesson. Rosina sings, Bartolo beats the time and quietly falls asleep. The two lovers approach and hug one another behind the old man’s back. Bartolo awakening. Rosina and Almaviva suddenly start up and begin to sing. The same play is renewed a second time, when suddenly, to the amazement of all, Basil appears in person to give the singing lesson.

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19. Bartolo requests him for information, and Figaro, Rosina and Almaviva make violent efforts to compel him to be quiet, and above all to persuade him that he is ill, that he has a fever and that he did wrong not to stay in his room. In his bewilderment Basil exclaims, “What deception is being practiced here?” Almaviva slips a purse into his hand and whispers in his ear, “You are ill.” “Ah, I understand,” cries Basil. He pockets the money and assuming and afflicted expression, he announces that he does not fell well. “Go to bed, Basil, you have a fever,” cry all three together, and at the same time, gathering around him, each in turn gives him a push, which finally sends him to the door.

20. Figaro pushes forward an armchair and gets ready to shave Bartolo. The latter tries to keep his eye on Rosina and Almaviva, who have got near one another and are making love, but Figaro half strangles him with the napkin, cuts him while shaving, fills his eyes with lather; in short, puts him in such a way that it is impossible for him to see what is going on. Bartolo, in a rage drives everybody to the door and sends Rosina to her room.

21. Return of Basil who, while having pretended to obey by going home to bed because he has received Almaviva’s money, has carefully come back to warn Bartolo. He enters, soaked to the marrow, carrying a lantern and a dripping umbrella. It is storming fiercely without; he has come to take shelter in Bartolo’s house. Bartolo has not time to listen to anything; he has not a minute to lose, for he fears that Rosina may escape him. In spite of the rain Basil and he will go at once to find and bring back the notary in order that the marriage may take place at once. They go out

22. Figaro reappears by the window. He tells Rosina that he is bringing Almaviva. The two lovers fall into one another’s arms. Arrival of the notary, preceded by footmen bearing torches and accompanied by his secretary. Chairs and a table are brought; the notary sits down and asks who are the contracting parties. Figaro presents the Count and Rosina. Both sign the marriage contract and Figaro signs as a witness. At this moment Basil enters.

23. The notary remarking that two witnesses are necessary, Figaro asks Basil to sign also. The latter astounded at what is taking place under his eyes, refuses alleging that he has promised his aid to Bartolo, and that his conscience does not permit him to go against his word. Almaviva gives a purse to Figaro, who throws it to Basil right over the notary. The latter catches it, of course, and pockets it. “That is for you conscience, Basil,” says Figaro “and now will you sign?” “Ah,” replies Basil, while lifting the purse, “You have arguments of such a weight.” He signs.

24. Bartolo, who has seen Figaro and Almaviva enter by the window, has rushed for an officer. They enter and the enamored old man orders everybody to be arrested. The alguazils put their hands upon the collar of the notary, but they are profuse in their excuses when they recognize the, They arrest, then, Almaviva, who throws off his cloak, and, to the confusion of all, discloses a gorgeous costume and announces that he is the Count Almaviva, governor of the Province. Everybody bows respectfully. The alguazils, angry at having been disturbed for nothing, withdraw, followed by the notary, the lackeys, the Count, who escorts his Rosina, now become his bride, and by Figaro, who puts Bartolo into derision. The sly Basil, ill at case, seeks to sneak away without being scen, but Bartolo seizes him in his passage to the door and reproaches him bitterly. Basil, a moment disconcerted, recovers his composure, and assuming the air of a spiritual adviser, exclaims: “What do you want, Doctor? It is that such was the will of God. I always bend submissively before it.” And he fled away, leaving Bartolo in his armchair absolutely collapsed.

SEVENTH TABLEAU

25. The Marriage.-The place before the church has been invade by a merry crowd acclaiming the sumptuous cortège which accompanies Count Almaviva and Rosina in their exit from the church. The cortège preceded by a master of ceremonies and terminated by the ladies of honor and the Count’s friends, crosses the square. Figaro follows while giving his arm comically to Marcelina, ridiculously burdened with her holiday attire and wincing in a most laughable manner. The boy and girl students dance gleefully. Figaro, always a jester, returns with a manikin dressed up to represent Don Basil, his perpetual enemy. Basil is hung in effigy above the square in the midst of approving yells. At this moment the real Basil, crossing the place by accident, perceives what is taking place, and seized with a foolish and cowardly terror of being dragged into the crowd, bounds away at full speed and bumps into Bartolo, who is hurrying to prevent the marriage if there is yet time. Both roll upon the ground. Basil picks himself up and starts on running. Figaro forces Bartolo to dance with the others. The unfortunate old man depressed and buffed, falls down all out of breath, and the crowd dance around him an hilarious jig.

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MEL 1905-A

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1 Méliès 606-625  
2 Georges Méliès  
3 1904 402m/1340 ft-960ft (The same shortened)
4 France  

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03/07/1906  Cuba, La Habana  Enrique Rosas El Barbero de Sevilla 
 
 "El Barbero de Sevilla", o mejor dicho "Las bodas de Fígaro", de donde está tomado el libro de la ópera de Rossini, fue exhibido anoche en el Nacional. El programa anunciaba siete escenas. ¿Por qué fueron exhibidas cinco escenas solamente? Suponemos que hoy "El Barbero" será exhibido en toda su integridad.

La Discusión, La Habana, jueves 5 de julio de 1906, p. 3.

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