We do not know exactly where this story take place. Beaumarchais assured us that it was in Seville, but his contemporaries supposed that the characters were too French (it was not surprising because they spoke French!). As for the heroes of Rossini’s opera, they are certainly Italians. Ardent passion makes Count Almaviva forget about the cold. He is in love with Rosina and serenades her. However, she seems to be sleeping and not hearing
the song. Who can help Almaviva? Of course, his old acquaintance Figaro, who knows all the town’s secrets. He explains to Almaviva that Rosina is Dr.
Bartolo’s ward. Fortunately, Figaro is a general factotum to the Bartolo household and enjoys easy access to the house. Almaviva starts to sing again. Rosina joins the song, but she is interrupted before she can respond. Dr. Bartolo hurries to the notary. He loves Rosina too and plans to marry her. Almaviva and Figaro understand that they can’t waste time. Rosina is charmed by the ardent and courteous youth who calls himself Lindoro. Probably Figaro knows something about the stranger. By the way, her letter to Lindoro is ready. Don Basilio, the music teacher, warns Bartolo that Count Almaviva, who is looking for Rosina, has arrived to the city. Basilio suggests slander as the most effective means of getting rid of Almaviva. Almaviva arrives disguised as a drunken soldier, billeted to Bartolo’s house. He enters, despite all the protestations. A scandal erupts, and the noise brings the civil guard to the house. Soldiers arrest Almaviva, but he secretly reveals his identity to the officer is immediately released.
Almaviva returns to Bartolo’s house, this time disguised as Don Alonso – a music-master replacing the indisposed Don Basilio. To gain Bartolo’s trust, he reveals that he has intercepted a note from Almaviva to Rosina. Bartolo is glad and does not pay attention to Don Alonso’s suspicious resemblance to a rowdy soldier. Rosina is more observant and recognizes Lindoro. The «music lesson» begins. Figaro arrives to shave Bartolo. All is going to plan until Don Basilio unexpectedly appears. He seems unaware of his illness. Only friendly advices (and especially the Count’s money) make him to go home. Despite Figaro’s attempts to interfere, Bartolo notices that Rosina and her teacher are busy not only with singing. «Don Alonso» is driven out.
Bartolo decides not to postpone the marriage. He sends Don Basilio for a notary. Then he shows Rosina her letter to Lindoro, as proof that he is in league with Almaviva. Heartbroken and confused, Rosina agrees to marry Bartolo. A thunderstorm passes. Oh, what a terrible and saving storm!
Figaro and Almaviva climb up a ladder to Rosina’s balcony. Rosina is furious until Almaviva explains all. Now she can marry her beloved. Basilio returns with the notary. By the use of threats and bribes, Figaro ensures that the notary actually marries Rosina and the Count. Bartolo arrives, but it is too late. He has no choice and joins the celebrations.