The Barber of Seville is an opera buffa in two acts by Gioachino Rossini with an Italian libretto by Cesare Sterbini. The libretto was based on Pierre Beaumarchais's French comedy Le Barbier de Séville (1775). The première of Rossini's opera took place on February 20, 1816 at the Teatro Argentina, Rome.
Rossini's Barber has proven to be one of the greatest masterpieces of comedy within music, and has been described as the greatest opera buffa of them all. Even after two hundred years, its popularity on the modern opera stage attests to that greatness.
Rossini's opera recounts the first of the plays from the Figaro trilogy, by French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais, while Mozart's opera Le nozze di Figaro, composed 30 years earlier in 1786, is based on the second part of the Beaumarchais trilogy. This 1982 recording stars Thomas Allan, Agnes Baltsa and Francisco Araiza. Sir Neville Marriner conducts.